“Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don’t catch steak hanging around when you’re poor and sick, do you?” ~ Judith Martin (Miss Manners)
Soup. I have such a fondness for it. Slow cooked wonders like my Heal-All Chicken Soup, or speedy delights such as Quick Prawn and Miso Soup. Today’s offering uses leftovers (hooray!) and will take you around an hour and a half, but only about ten minutes of that is prep time. I like to put my stock on the stove, and then go outside and hose the garden, take the washing off the line and other end-of-day jobs. By the time I’m finished the soup base is done and there’s not much left to do to turn it into a meal.
This is also a great easy soup to make if you’re not feeling well. It doesn’t take much effort, and it’s very good for you! It will keep well in the fridge for a few days, and freezes beautifully.
Stock Ingredients: Carcass from a roast chicken chopped into quarters or roughly broken apart (Note: please don’t use any stuffing – if your roast still has some in the cavity pull it out and discard!), a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, two bay leaves, one leek chopped into large rings, 2 inch knob of ginger – sliced, a 2 inch piece of fresh tumeric root – sliced (if you can’t get fresh root use 1 to 2 teaspoons of powered tumeric), 1 lemon quartered, and optionally an inch of fresh galangal – sliced, if you can get some, plus salt and pepper.
Method: Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and barely cover with water. Add a small amount of salt (don’t go too crazy – you can always adjust the seasoning later) and a good grind of pepper. The apple cider vinegar helps draw the calcium and other good minerals out of the bones, making a fast and healthy bone broth. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for one hour. Cool for ten minutes, while you do the preparation for part two. Then strain out the solids, keeping just the stock itself. If there’s any salvageable meat left on the bones feel free to pick it off and add it back into the stock. Thai Soup Ingredients: 1 x tablespoon of Thai red curry paste, 1 x can of coconut milk, 1 to 2 cups of diced pumpkin, 1 ear of fresh corn with the kernels removed, 1 cup of diced cooked chicken, 1 cup of fresh green beans chopped into one inch lengths, 2 green shallots chopped, 1 long red chilli sliced finely (remove the seeds if you don’t like it hot!), a dash of fish sauce or some sea salt, pinch of palm or raw sugar, 2 fresh double kafir lime leaves shredded finely. 1 extra lemon or lime cut into wedges to serve.I have a kafir lime and a chilli bush in pots outside my kitchen door, the shallots grow like weeds in the vegie patch and the pumpkin is home grown too. Even if you only have a balcony, fresh herbs you can pluck as you need them is a simple but wonderful luxury. Method: Add your Thai curry paste into the hot stock and stir until it’s aromatic. Then dump in the coconut milk and pumpkin. Simmer for eight to ten minutes until pumpkin is soft. Now add in in the chicken, green beans, corn, kafir lime and half the chilli. Heat for another two minutes and test your beans – they should be cooked but not soggy. Add a dash of fish sauce or a good grind of salt, and your pinch of sugar. Taste and adjust as necessary.