Friday, January 13, 2006

Addicted to chicken soup

For the past few months I seemed to only eat toast or pasta twirls (fusilli?) mixed up with bacon, onion, cheese, green and red pepper, and my ‘special sauce’. For variation, I’d sometimes replace the pepper with broccoli. Now and again I’d eat a couple of fried eggs on toast, sometimes accompanied by bacon. Talk about a limited repertoire! And, occasionally, I’d splash out and buy a ready-made meal or I’d eat a can of Heinz’s tomato soup (I love the stuff!) with bread and butter.

In recent weeks that's all changed - I’ve grown addicted to two things, usually eaten separately but sometimes together.

tomatoes on the vineTomato Salad
Tomatoes – lots of them!
Spring onions (optional)
Cucumber (optional)
Broccoli (optional)
Mangetout (optional)
Balsamic vinegar dressing

Coarsely chop tomatoes. If using broccoli, microwave for a few minutes to soften but ensure that they remain firm and slightly crunchy. Chop up any other ingredients. Mix together with the dressing.

Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
2 portions balsamic vinegar
1 portion good extra virgin olive oil
crushed garlic – lots of it!
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Mix together. Adjust quantities according to taste.

roast chickenChicken Soup
Roast chicken (including the bones)
1-2 onions - chopped
Big bunch of spring onions – chopped incl all the green bits
2-3 peeled potatoes – chopped
Fresh chillies – chopped (or chilli powder)
crushed garlic – lots!
Alan’s ‘special sauce’
Chicken stock (home-made is best but too much effort so use stock cubes in hot water)
Salt (unnecessary if using salty stock cubes)
Juice of 1-2 lemons

Best made with left-over roast chicken but bought roast chicken pieces will do. Lightly fry the chopped onions, spring onions, garlic and chillies in the ‘special sauce’. Mix in the chopped potatoes and stir in the stock. Bring to the boil and let simmer at a low heat. Break the chicken into pieces and remove as much flesh as possible from the bones. Add the chicken and bones to the soup mixture. Add the lemon juice.

Let the soup simmer for 40-60 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. Remove the bones before serving with hunks of buttered white bread.

lemonsgarlicpiri piriAlan’s ‘Special Sauce’
3 portions good extra virgin olive oil
1 portion of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Crushed garlic – lots!
Chilli powder
Crushed chillies
Cumin powder

Mix the ingredients together in a container/jar with a tight lid. Shake vigorously and taste to see if proportions of any of the ingredients need to be changed. The sauce should not feel oily on the mouth but neither should it be dominated by the tartness of the lemon juice.

This is a very versatile sauce that I used to fry things in as well as to drizzle on/in food such as baked potatoes and pasta. I always have a bottle of it on the go.

But having said all that, last night I made my own version of chicken biryani. I didn't have any lentils (let alone most of the required spices) but it tasted delicious nevertheless. There was lots left over so that's what I'll be eating tonight.

With tomato salad of course!


Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Darn you, Reluctant Nomad!! Last thing I need is more excuses to cook! Yummy.

3:08 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Those recipes encouraged you? They're just simple things that I seem to not be able to get enough of just recently. Yummy!

4:16 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

Note to self: buy ingredients and then check back here. You have the kind of blog I really like: a total mixed bag of delights.

7:05 pm  
Blogger xmichra said...

sounds delish. I was addincted to tomato panini bread sandwiches and chicken rice soup. Wonder if it is a symptom of something.. hmmm.. haha. I think the sauce sounds great, I will have to mix some up tonight and try it! Baked potatos you say... I think a marinade for chicken might be a good idea for that one too.

10:27 pm  
Blogger CTG said...

Hi Reluctant Nomad. Cool recipes. I must say that Chicken SOup is definately one of my favourites. I need to borrow this recipe and give this a try. Hope you having a great weekend. Take Care, CTG :-)

6:36 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Hmm, your "special sauce" sounds great but I'm not that keen on chicken soup. As for Heinz cream of tomato soup - well, that's just foul. And it stains everything it comes into contact with.

Don't suppose you'll be in Nottingham on Tuesday evening? I'm meeting Mike and Mish at the Dragon at 6 (got to dash off around 9.15, so we've gone for early doors).

9:58 pm  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

The tomato salad and dressing sounds excellent! And the special sauce?... Let's just say you need to stop by and whip up a batch for me! =)

4:01 am  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I am also impressed by your special sauce! Are you sure you're not leaving out another important ingredient? Something white in color... rather gooey!

You make cooking sound like fun, unfortunatly I was never much of a cook, and those recipes are too COMPLEX for me. I need stuff I can put in the microwave!

4:52 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

andrea: you say the nicest things!

xmichra: the sauce does make an excellent marinade - told you it's versatile! I do, however, have some other good marinades lurking around somewhere. Chicken rice soup sounds good.

ctg: it was a good weekend, thanks, hope you got time for some chicken soup unless it was too hot there to want hot soup.

ben: the soup is NOT vile! but then I'm a man who will sometimes have a few pot noodles in the cupboard for emergencies such as in the early hours after a late night drinking. They're a sort of comfort food more than anything else. I get home from work at about 6 each evening so ought to be able to meet up with you guys. I'll get details from Mike and/or Mish. Hope to see you tomorrow.

livewire: don't be so lazy, make it yourself! Although popping round does sound like a nice idea.

rob: those recipes are the simplest in the world. even you could make them!

8:33 am  
Blogger rhino75 said...

Am definitely going to try the sauce, though without Rob's special addition.

10:00 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

I deliberately ignored Rob's suggestion of a special addition! Eeewww!

1:34 pm  
Anonymous Alan said...

All the food sounds delicious but your bacon and cheese toasted sandwich was devine ! Keep it simple and you cannot fail.

1:35 pm  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

:::Glen Close impersonation:::

I will NOT just be ignored!

5:07 am  
Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

Rob, I LOVE you! :-)))

11:13 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

mick: I've been trying to ignore him and you go and spoil it!

11:22 am  
Blogger Clare said...

Yesterday I made your chicken soup. I got it slightly wrong - underestimating the size of organic lemons, and ending up with something rather dominated by lemoniness. But it was still delicious, and I shall get it right next time. And I now have a freezer full of chicken soup, which is never a bad thing.

1:23 pm  

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