Soups, stews and chowders are the perfect winter food, although I love them all year round. Here’s an easy chowder recipe that I’ve been using as a main dish. It’s hearty enough to leave you satisfied on its own, but you could always add a slice of bread, or the tortillas that the recipe mentions.
I found the recipe on the Jamie Oliver website. The only changes I made were to use canned corn, to rinse the black beans before adding them, and serving with a dollop of yogurt. A number of people commented on the Jamie Oliver website that their soup was grey, so I think rinsing the beans first helped to avoid that.
This made quite a large batch, which was excellent for leftover lunches for several days.
What you need:
- 1/2 bunch cilantro stems
- olive oil
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 250 g cooked chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
- 400 g tin of black beans, rinsed
- 750 ml organic chicken stock (or water and chicken bouillon)
- 1 fresh corn on the cob or 1 can Peaches and Cream corn
- 1 bay leaf
- cilantro greens
- Plain yogurt (optional)
- 2 corn tortillas (optional)
- 1 lemon
What you do:
- If you need to cook the chicken breast, flatten it a bit first by pounding it with a mallet, rolling pin or heavy frying pan. This will help it to cook uniformly, and you won’t have dried out or raw bits. Add a little olive oil to a frying pan, then add the salted chicken breast, sprinkling on a little chili powder if you want. Let it cook a few minutes per side until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
- Pick the cilantro leaves and set aside for garnishing. Finely slice the stalks. Peel and chop the onion and garlic, slice the celery finely.
- Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan and place it over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and cilantro stalks, then sauté for about 10 minutes. The vegetables should soften but not brown.
- Add the cumin and cayenne to the pan and fry for about a minute. Add the black beans, chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut or shred the chicken breast and add it to the pot. Cut the corn kernels from the cob or use the corn from the can along with its liquid, and stir into the chowder. Allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the lemon juice. Serve with optional tortillas and a dollop of yogurt, and sprinkle with the cilantro leaves.
This is the perfect recipe to make after you’ve roasted a chicken. Whether you’re feeling under the weather, or you’re perfectly healthy, a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup is sure to make you feel even better.
After the roasted chicken has been consumed you can cook up the broth, let it cool over night, and then it’s ready to make into this soup the next day. I often freeze the broth for later use, so all my soups can have that homemade goodness in them.
If you haven’t just roasted a chicken and you want to make a broth, there’s a recipe for you here.
What you need for the broth:
- 1 chicken carcass
- 1 small onion
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- a few peppercorns
- a chunk of fresh ginger
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot
What you need for the chicken noodle soup:
- a stalk or two of celery, sliced
- 1 carrot or two, sliced
- optional: frozen peas
- wide egg noodles
- salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
- Remove any leftover meat from the chicken carcass and refrigerate for use in the soup later.
- Place all the chicken broth ingredients in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, so just a few little bubbles are coming to the surface. Leave on this very low simmer for 2-4 hours.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve; you can line the sieve with cheesecloth if you want a really clear broth. Discard the solids. Allow to cool, then refrigerate over night.
- By the time you make the soup the next day the fat should have hardened on the top of the broth. Scrape the fat off and pour the broth into a large pot on medium high heat.
- Add the leftover chicken meat, chopped, along with the celery and carrot, and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add a few handfuls of the egg noodles and cook them according to the package instructions. By this time the carrot should be softer, but not mushy. Add the optional frozen peas and cook for just long enough to heat them through.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. I like to add only a little salt, and then people can add more if they need to – too much salt ruins a perfect chicken noodle soup.
This soup is one of the reasons I am glad we have real winters in Vancouver. (Sorry to the rest of Canada, I know we don’t have Real Winters like you do, but it seems cold enough to me.) I’m happy eat soup year round, but I know some people like to keep it to the colder months, so here’s one more for you, while we have this intermittent warm and cold Spring weather.
I know it might seem odd to add almond butter to soup, but trust me, it is awesome! It adds a creaminess in a way you cannot imagine until you eat it; it is creamy without any dairy. Plus there’s a little extra protein in it.
This recipe comes from this website. One thing I changed was adding 1/3 cup almond butter instead of 1/2 cup. I also changed the order of the cooking; I like to brown the chicken first, and the recipe called for adding it later with the broth and tomato.
Enjoy, because this is so good!
What you need:
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups tomato purée
- 2 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-3cm pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- one minced fresh chili or 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 3 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1/2 cup almond butter
What you do:
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and allow them to brown on each side.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, cooking for about 5 minutes, until softened. Now add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chill, then pour in the chicken stock and tomato purée. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer; leaving it with the lid on for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the red peppers; take the lid off and cook for about 10 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken pieces and take the meat off the bone. Use two forks pull the chicken apart, then put the chicken back into the soup.
- Just before serving, stir in the almond butter.
- Serve as is, or top it with a little cilantro.