Winter Warmers

As it gets cooler and the days get shorter why not try some delicious soups to help keep you warm.

 

Chicken & Vegetable Soup                                                                 Serves 4-6

 

1 kg chicken breast or 1 whole chicken, chopped into large chunks

2.5L water

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, thickly chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves, thickly chopped

1 medium leek, trimmed and chopped

½ cup of peas

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 small bunch of fresh parsley, leaves picked and chopped

 

  1. Remove any visible fat and skin from chicken. Place the chicken, onion, carrots and celery into a large, deep pan and pour in water making sure it’s covered.
  2. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer. Use a large spoon to skim off any fat and scum that rises to the surface. Simmer on a medium heat for 1½ hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Continue to remove any scum and fat throughout.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and strain the broth using a sieve. Put the vegetables aside for later. Put the broth back on a high heat and allow to reduce for 15 minutes until there's about 2 litres left.
  4. Meanwhile, shred the cooked chicken into long chunks. Once the broth has reduced, throw the vegetables back in the pan with the peas, leeks, thyme and chicken. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then remove the sprigs of thyme.
  5. Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with chopped parsley.

 

Pumpkin & Leek Soup                                                      Serves 4

 

 750g peeled butternut pumpkin, cut into 4cm-thick pieces

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoon olive oil

8 sprigs fresh thyme

1 leek, finely sliced

2 x 440g cans of chickpeas

4cm knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 litres low-salt vegetable stock

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place pumpkin and whole garlic cloves onto a baking tray. Scatter with thyme and drizzle with olive oil.  Cover tray with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Make an incision with your knife half way through the leek from top to bottom. Open it, wash thoroughly and thinly slice. Place leeks into a heavy based pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent.
  3. Add cooked garlic into the pot with roasted pumpkin, chopped ginger, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil with a lid on. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree soup with a blender and serve.

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