I’d been meaning to post this up for a while, but following a request on Instagram from @goodoldboney (“Where can I find a recipe for this badboy?”) I was encouraged to get on and do it. Thank you Mr Boney, this is for you!
So here it is. A really simple soup, that tastes and feels like it’s nourishing your heart and soul.
Chicken, Pumpkin and Spinach Soup
You’ll need a large pot big enough to fit a small chicken and some veg.
Serves about 6 generously
1 small whole chicken
1 bunch fresh coriander, rip the stalks of the bunch for the stock and keep the leaves to finish off the soup
1 large onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, skin on and chopped
1 leek, chopped
a scatter of black peppercorns
1 red chilli, cut in half lengthwise
2 large pieces ginger, skin on, bashed with a rolling pin and roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, cut in half across the middle
Then you’ll need this…..
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash
A bag of young spinach leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sriracha or other chilli sauce
1. Place the chicken, coriander stalks and all the ingredients for the stock in a large pot. Cover with about 3 litres of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and then simmer gently for an hour, or until the meat is falling off the bone. (It will be extremely tender and moist too!)
2. Carefully hook out the chicken and leave to cool. Strain the veg and stock through a colander, over a large bowl. Throw the veg away as it’s done it’s job now. Now strain the stock through a sieve, back into the pot and season.
3. Peel the pumpkin or squash, scoop out the seeds, and chop the flesh into 5 cm pieces. Drop these pumpkin cubes into the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the pumpkin is very tender.
4. Meanwhile, pull all the chicken meat from the carcass and shred into small pieces. Drop the chicken pieces into the stock to reheat, and check the seasoning. Chop the coriander leaves roughly and stir in with the spinach and serve when the spinach has wilted with some chilli sauce on the side.
Optional…….ideas….Add a few thrusts of Nam pla (Fish sauce) to the finished soup….with a little sprinkling of palm or brown sugar and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice for a sweet and sour version……with or without some coconut milk…
Curry leaves…. do add an extra level of flavour. Add a few curry leaves to the stock ingredients.
Curry leaves are small, pointed, shiny evergreen leaves and I usually buy mine fresh from a brilliant Asian supermarket called the Indian Spice Shop on Drummond Street, (right behind Euston Station, here in London) and freeze and keep them.