Here’s to a lovely rich and rewarding Chicken soup.
You need one mid-sized free range chicken, skin, bones and all.
A good thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, 3 star anise, two tablespoons of coriander seeds, one large onion, two cloves of garlic, a bulb of fennel, salt, pepper, 3 dried chillies or a teaspoon of chilli flakes.
Cut all the spices and stuff into thin slices and medium-sized cubes. Heat a good splash of olive oil and sweat everything until the onion begins to darken.
Add two teaspoons each of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the chicken on top, add 2 litres of cold water. Add two large tomatoes, diced. The chicken should be covered only just.
Put the lid on, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 90 minutes, then turn the heat off but let it slowly cool down within the same pot, still on the stove. Residual heat from an electric cooker is no problem, it just cools down even slower.
Finally, debone the chicken. The good pieces of meat go into your bowl, the blood vessels, some of the grizzle and skin goes into the cat’s bowl, the rest into the food waste bowl.
Run the liquid through a sieve to remove the parts, then bring the liquid to the boil. 3 minutes before serving, add fresh or deep frozen peas, chopped mushrooms and fresh mustard greens (alternatively use pok choi or small Germaine salads). Add the meat to re-heat it in the last minute.
Serve with bread.
T’is perfect on a cold day. T’is perfect against a common cold, a heartbreak or common heartache. I even love it on a hot day.