Friday, 29 January 2016

Trippin' Chicken Soup!

Zuppa di Pollo, Pomodoro & Spezie Aromatiche
Chicken Soup with Bell Pepper, Tomatoes & Aromatic Spices

I shall keep this little write-up and this little recipe brief... on account of me not feeling so wonderful today. It is that part of year- and yep, it has happened to me too... I have caught a cold!

And what can be better than a nice bowl of chicken soup at a time like this? Well... maybe a chicken soup like this one here! Just 'cause you are feeling ill, doesn't mean you have to be boring!

And yet- all it took, to totally transform what would have been a classic chicken soup, was a few spices, a red bell pepper and a handful of cherry tomatoes... and I am always all for change! Especially changes that are as simple and delicious as this!

For 2 portions of soup, I needed 1 chicken thigh, 1 red pepper, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 3-4 slices of ginger, some fresh parsley, salt, pepper, cardamom, cloves, allspice, star anise and a little fresh parsley. So simple... and yet SO different!

But so rich, satisfying and deeply comforting! And still- that classic chicken broth flavor is still there and what makes this little beauty soooo good!

Begin by sizzling the chicken- (I decided to remove the skin from mine, but that is entirely up to you), along with the coarsely chopped carrot, onion, celery and the slices of ginger, for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, I boiled up some water, ready to make the broth.

hilst the chicken and vegetables were browning, I also had time to take care of the spices.

I ground 1 star anise, 5 allspice, 5 cloves and 2 pods of coriander up relatively finely using a mortar and pestle...

...and added them to the chicken before pouring over the hot water to deglaze the saucepan and to create the broth.

I added enough water to cover the ingredients well and added the coarsely chopped bell pepper and the whole cherry tomatoes. I then brought my soup up to the boil once, reduced it then to a low simmer and allowed it to boil for between 45-60 minutes.

After that time, I removed the chicken thigh and set it aside to cool. 

I also added a good handful of parsley to the soup, tasted it to see if it needed any added seasoning and then whizzed it together using an immersion blender. 

Then all I needed to do, was to pout the soup through a sieve in order to strain out the tomato and pepper peels and any chunks of spices.

I then returned the smooth, velvety soup to the stovetop to keep it warm and proceeded to pluck the chicken flesh from the bone... ready to serve!

And once the chicken was added, the soup was almost finished, was smelling delicious and looking a little like this. Which was lovely... but not as lovely as could be!

That's right... what a difference a sprinkling of green makes! Now- that looks like a nice soup- right? And it tastes every bit as much, if not more wonderful as it looks!

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