Chicken soup is one of those foods that brings me back home more than any other food. Mum always has a fresh pot of chicken soup in the fridge during winter and quite frankly I’ll eat it any time of year. When I’m missing the comforts of home this is definitely my go-to food to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s super simple and all the ingredients are easy to find in any country. This version is a little different to mum’s and it can be adapted very easily. If you’re feeling under the weather, ditch the pumpkin and make it more of a broth with more stock/water. If you can’t find lentils, don’t worry it’ll still taste great. Corn is something I picked up in Latin America, it makes it into just about every soup and snack in this continent and it’s a great last juicy morsel when you’re done. Something I do love is a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan over the top, but it’s a little difficult to find it in Latin American countries.
Soup is a one-pot meal so it’s a good one when you’re on the road and only have access to your camp cooking gear. We love finding some fresh veggies, putting them all together with some quinoa and water and voila you have a super hearty soup.
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serving suggestion: while it’s a pretty hearty soup (more like a thick, chunky stew) I can’t say no to a side of garlic rubbed rye toast. And freshly grated Parmesan on top will give it a complimentary salty kick.
1kg chicken thigh or drumstick (or anything with a bone)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, very finely diced
2 large celery stalks including the leaves, very finely diced
3 large carrots, very finely diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely diced
500g pumpkin, small chunks
1/2 cup lentils – soaked for 15 minutes before cooking (any variety however I prefer the orange ones as they don’t discolour the soup and they breakdown to create a deliciously thick soup)
1 large corn cob, left on the cob and cut into 4-5 pieces
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
2. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the same pot. Sauté on a medium heat until soft, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the pumpkin and cook until it begins to soften.
4. Return the chicken to the pot and bury it under the softened veggies. Add about 500ml of water (ingredients don’t need to be completely covered) as well as the lentils and corn.
5. Bring the soup to the boil and then reduce the heat. Cook on a low heat for a further 40 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally – the soup will thicken gradually.
6. Remove the chicken and shred the meat from the bone using a fork. It should be juicy and tender.
7. Stir the chicken pieces into the pot and add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve and sprinkle with fresh parsley.