Friday, December 08, 2006

Chicken soup

The 2 kg Label Anglais chicken I bought last weekend cost £11. That money -- about £8 more than I might have paid for a battery bird -- went a long way. There was the roast chicken. There was my chicken curry. There was a sandwich for one of my daughters. And there was a stock, which contributed to several dishes, including a chicken soup.

The soup also gave a home to a box of out-of-season plum tomatoes, which someone had unwisely bought and left untouched for a week, and to the last carrot from the organic box. Some lentils provided thickening. Cumin and cardamom, those regular features of my cooking, also put in an appearance.

This recipe made four helpings, which two of us ate.

1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
5 cardamoms
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
50 g red lentils, washed
4 ladlefuls hot stock
1 punnet plum tomatoes, chopped
Cooked chicken, diced

Soften the garlic with the spices -- crushed in a mortar -- in some oil of your choice (I used olive). Add the onion and carrot, and fry gently until golden. Tip in the lentils, add the stock, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrot are soft. Season.

Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes into another saucepan on a gentle heat, and cook off the juices until you have a concentrated sludge.

Push the contents of both pans through a vegetable mill, which will catch the tomato skins.

Throw in the chicken, and warm the soup gently, adding more stock or water if the consistency seems too thick.

When I made this soup, I did not concentrate the tomatoes, but added them to the lentil/onion/carrot mixture and cooked them for five minutes. Their flavour was too thin. Also, again using a leftover (this time from the orange and lemon mousse), I swirled in some cream.


Max said...

Hi - I loved your book... very happy to have stumbled across this blog.

Nicholas Clee said...

Thank you!