Soupe de Jour

August 31, 2023

I have had a love-hate relationship with soup over the years. It is only now I am fully appreciating the dish. Classic dining calls for it to be a starter course, whilst the truth is, it is a meal in itself.

Being a south Wallian I was brought up on “Cawl” – that watery dish of chunky veg and meat. Cawl is simply ‘soup’ but in the south of Wales it is descriptive of the aforementioned. Visit the north and ask for Cawl and you’ll be asked for flavour choice.

In the super fat world the cup soup is king. Add hot water, stir and go. That’s if you’ve no way of warming a canned variety.

Whenever I watch movies especially Hollywood, as soon as the first sneeze explodes into the atmosphere, gallons of chicken soup appear.

My least favourite, by the way, is the instant mug chicken and noodle soup. Watery, bland and not to my palate.

So as Lady TheLastSupper started to sniffle the request for soup came. The easiest method of supply was to boil a kettle and rehydrate the powder called soup. That’s ok in a hurry or for a warming drink, but as a supper – I felt I could do much better.

Rustic Chicken Soup with Noodles

Let’s start with the kit. Oooh I got love a bit of kitchen tech – if you haven’t guessed. I sometimes mention a multi-cooker and of course, the air fryer. As for a multi-cooker, I am talking about a modern pressure cooker that allows, frying (browning), gentle (simmering) and of course super fast pressure cooking. Mine is a Tefal “Cook4Me” which I purchased a few years back. The latest model (which is Bluetooth!!) will set you back 500 notes. I didn’t pay a 1/5th of that for the earlier model and it works just fine.

I do have a dedicated soup maker which can knock out something warming in 21 minutes but it is either chunky or totally macerated. I want my soup to be more than mere liquid.

So I am using the multi-cooker, a stick blender, and the air fryer.

Ingredients are my favourite part and this is where we can cheat.

  • 750g bag of frozen mixed veg
  • 1 medium chicken breast
  • Salt
  • White pepper (give it a little bang 😉 )
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Bunch of dry spaghetti (about an inch in diameter)
  • Can of Red Kidney beans
  • 2 vegetables stock cubes
  • 1.5ltr hot water

Now for the method. Start by weighing out 250g of mixed veg and set aside. Now add the remaining with the stock cubes, herbs, spices and water to the pot and pressure cook for 13 minutes, or if working on the hob; bring to the boil and let simmer over a medium-high heat.

Now prepare the chicken. I diced the meat then air fried for 18 minutes at 200c.

When the pressure cooking (aka simmering) had finished I sampled for seasoning. Mine didn’t need extra but this is always to taste. To my broth I added the chicken then used the stick blender to make a thickened liquid. At this point I added the Kidney beans and spaghetti and adjusted the heat to the “keep warm” setting (very gentle simmer) and let the flavours develop over roughly an hour. Just enough time for when the door opens at the end of the shift and commute.

If we are talking SYNs then this bad boy rocked out at … FREE FOOD. Absolutely no oils or flour used. A quick look on the SW app and it’s between 4.5-6 SYNs for a ‘cuppa soup’ and creamy cans are a bit more. Moreover, as I said earlier my least favourite soup is “Chicken Noodle” and this doesn’t compare at all. Luckily it is a free food because you just want more!

Until next time … Mwynhau!

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