I was sick all of last weekend, taken out from the world with a nasty bout of illness. I didn’t really want to eat anything except this soup. Essentially it’s a very simple vegetable broth. You can add vegetables of your choice – I like the carrot and leek combination but you could throw in some celery or potatoes too. The chicken adds body and flavour and the whole thing takes moments to put together. I made it, put it on the stove to simmer and fell back into bed until it was ready. I then ate nothing but this soup the entire weekend. It’s light and restorative and I’m fairly sure it contributed to my recovery. My medic relatives and friends will laugh at this, knowing full well it was the medication and sleep which did the trick but I think the soup made a difference in some way too. I add garlic into the soup which you don’t have to do. Last summer when I was traveling and sick, I had garlic soup in a place called Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. The place looked like it was haunted with vampires and demons (yes, I have an over-active imagination) and I had the soup partially to ward off any over eager vamps. It was also healing – garlic is powerful stuff – and now I add it in to most soups, just in case.
3 garlic cloves
2 chicken thighs
Slice the shallots, leek and carrots into similar sized rounds. Crush and finely chop the garlic. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and slice into similar sized pieces, keeping the bones.
Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the thigh pieces and bones together until sealed and slightly coloured. Remove from the pan.
Fry the shallot until slightly translucent before adding the leek and carrots. Allow everything to soften slightly before adding the garlic. Finally add back the chicken pieces and bones. Add enough cold water to cover everything and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, skimming the surface to remove any impurities every now and then. Season with salt and pepper.
Eat hot with crusty baguettes.