Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicken, Spinach and Bean soup

Sunday 8.59pm

Inspired I think by our new rustic wall cabinet I decided to make a more down to earth simple soup. This was the result. Now with only a few ingredients the quality of the stock will be important, so here is where a home made stock really comes into it's own. Vegetable or chicken would work fine, I used chicken made from the roast chicken carcass that the chicken for the soup came from.

- Start with a base made from a small onion, two cloves of garlic and a stick or two of celery, all chopped quite finely and cooked gently in some olive oil until soft and transparent but not coloured.
- You'll need a handfull of chicken later, I used left over roast chicken but if you start with a raw chicken breast then bring your stock to the boil now and pop in the chicken to cook -about ten minutes.
- Once the base is ready add in a tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
- Stir them around so they mix with the base, but gently because tinned beans are quite delicate and you don't want them to break up.
- Add in the stock - a pint and a quarter, and bring to a gentle boil. Again you don't want to boil too fiercely or the beans will turn to mush.
- Cook gently for fifteen to twenty minutes then add a handfull of cooked chicken and continue cooking for ten minutes or so until it is heated through.
- Check the seasoning, it may need a little salt. Some black pepper is always a good idea and finally a squeeze of lemon juice.

Spinach, especially baby spinach takes very little cooking so just tear up a few leaves, put them into the soup bowls and ladle the soup over. It will cook in the heat from the soup.

This soup has quite a simple taste so some bread with rosemary on top goes well along with some grated parmesan if you like.

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