Hearty Chicken Soup

There is something about a warm bowl of chicken soup on a cold winter Sunday evening that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. If you are feeling a bit under the weather, or just fancy an easy and tasty soup, then this recipe is for you.

It’s amazing how food can comfort you in many ways, and that comfort food does not always have to be unhealthy lardy dishes. Comfort food can also strike fond memories of your childhood, when your Mum would make you some soup if you are not feeling 100%. That first mouthful warms your insides and suddenly your spirits are lifted slightly, and that bond between mother and child is intensified just that little bit more. Thanks Mum.

So if you feel like making some soup for the soul, or you want to make someone feel a bit better, why not give this a try.

I am not ashamed to say that I took a massive shortcut in this recipe and used a rotisserie roast chicken bought from the supermarket. I love the taste of a rotisserie chicken compared to a home roasted chicken, but of course you can use either.

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1/2 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 chilli

A pinch of ground cumin

Sweetcorn (as much as you like)

1 rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken)

1 tbsp cornflour

500ml chicken stock

  1. Dice the carrot and onion and finely slice the garlic and chilli. In a pot, add a little olive oil and place the vegetables in. Sauté gently until softened.
  2. From your roasted chicken, remove the skin and shred some meat from the leg, thigh and wing (this meat is more tender and will not dry out.) Add the chicken to the pan.
  3. Season the ingredients in the pan with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a pinch of cumin.
  4. Add the chicken stock. In a water glass, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water and then add to the soup to thicken it.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: I used a chicken stock melt with boiling water as my stock, these can be found in all supermarkets. If not, a stock cube or fresh chicken stock will work too.

I have to say that I like my soup with a little bit of a kick! I believe spice diminishes any nasty germs but maybe that is a myth. If you don’t want the soup to be spicy, leave out the black pepper, chilli and cumin. But I have to say that these are the best ingredients so please don’t blame me if it is bland or boring! :p

Thanks for reading! Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Happy new year all 🙂 As we get into January, all I seem to see is diet adverts, documentaries, books and more. Diet, diet, diet…boring! Let’s be honest, they don’t last long. Why not just eat a healthy balanced diet throughout the year and have a treat every so often, or in my case more often that not. Whoops.

Anyway I am not one for dieting, I just like to eat well and have a biscuit with my tea when I feel like it. So here is my recipe for butternut squash soup, something that is perfect for lunch and is full of goodness.

I simply roasted a butternut squash in the oven with a couple of red onions for about an hour. I don’t bother peeling the butternut squash because surely it has lots of goodness in it, why get rid of it? Besides who has the time to peel giant veg. I also scraped out the seeds and roasted them with some paprika, it was delicious! No waste 😉

I then fried some garlic and rosemary in a large pot and added the roasted veg. After this, I added a vegetable stock cube and covered the veg with boiling water. Next, I added a small handful of rice to the pot, this gives the soup a creamy taste without having to add cream. You can add a splash of cream if you want it and it will be heavenly, but I am trying to watch the calories where I can. Season the soup, blend and you are done! Easy as that. Lovely.

Why not give it a try?

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Bored of the same lunch? Try something new…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my boring sandwich or same old salad for lunch and thought, surely I can eat something else? Especially in the winter, I long for something warm that won’t make me feel sleepy all afternoon.

So today I decided to make leek and potato soup, and it was very satisfying. I didn’t add any cream (even though I really wanted to!) because as a weekday lunch I didn’t want it to be full of calories . All I did was fry a medium sized chopped onion, two garlic cloves, 2 sliced leeks and one small sliced potato in some olive oil. I let them sweat down a little bit and then added some chicken stock. I boiled it until the potato was cooked through and then added a splash of semi-skimmed milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. I also added some fresh parsley to give the soup a bit of a lift.

I think soup is a great idea for lunch, you can make a batch on the weekend and then freeze into individual portions for the week and off you go. I’m not a fan of those packet soups because who knows what is in them and they taste a bit watery to me. I like to know that I am getting some real veg in me. And there are so many different combinations you could try, such as sweet potato and carrot soup or tomato and red pepper soup. What flavours do you like?

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How to make creamy tomato soup…without the cream!

If you want that comforting bowl of creamy tomato soup but don’t like the idea of adding lugs of cream and throwing the calories through the roof, then I have a little tip for you…bread!

I love roasted tomato soup and its a great simple dinner or lunch. I place some tomatoes, red onions and garlic on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for about 45 minutes, depending on how much I have. I sometimes add sweet red peppers to this recipe but didn’t have any at the time.

Then I put everything into a pot and add some boiling water. Now before I blend it into a smooth soup, I add a chunk of stale bread into the pot. Let it soak in all the flavours and this is what makes the soup creamy! You can also do this with some rice, which ever you prefer. Then blend into a smooth soup and add fresh basil if you want.

It’s a great cheat to get that creamy taste…or you could just add cream!

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