Recipes from Clean Soups

LATIN AMERICAN CHICKEN SOUP WITH GREENS

latin american chicken and greens

makes 6 servings | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 25 minutes

There’s a misconception that in Mexican cooking the only greens used are herbs, such as coriander. In fact, gathering and consuming greens goes back centuries in Mexico. Silverbeet is a hugely popular Mexican green, and it’s the base green in this soup. This is like tortilla soup without the tortilla. It’s refreshing and invigorating and, after eating it, you’ll never think of Mexican food quite the same way again.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, diced small
Sea salt
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 (400 g) tin diced tomatoes
1.5 litres Old-Fashioned Chicken Stock (page 39) ½ bunch silverbeet, stemmed and thinly sliced
180 g cooled and thinly sliced cooked chicken (see Cook’s Note)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped coriander, for garnish
½ avocado, diced, for garnish
Polenta Croutons (page 137), for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, carrots, celery, capsicum and jalapeño. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin and oregano. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the silverbeet and cook until it’s just tender, about 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken, lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Serve garnished with the coriander, avocado and polenta croutons, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

cook’s note: If you don’t have leftover chicken on hand, you can quickly poach two skinless, boneless breasts. The following method produces a delicate result by infusing the flavour of the stock liquid into the chicken. Season the breasts with salt and pepper. In a straight-sided frying pan, bring 750 ml of stock to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken, cover, and decrease the heat to low. The liquid should be just below the boiling point, with its surface barely quivering. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and let cool.


old-fashioned chicken stock
makes about 6 litres | prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 3 hours

3 kg organic chicken backs, necks, bones and wings
2 unpeeled white onions, quartered
4 unpeeled large carrots, cut into thirds
2 stalks celery, cut in thirds
6 sprigs thyme
4 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
8 litres cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
Sea salt
Rinse all of the vegetables well.

In a 12-litre or larger stockpot, combine the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns. Add the water, cover and cook over medium-high heat until the water comes to a boil. Decrease the heat so the bubbles just break the surface of the liquid. Skim off the scum and fat that have risen to the surface. Simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours. Add more water if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with unbleached muslin into a clean pot or heat-resistant bowl, then stir in salt to taste. Bring to room temperature,
then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Skim off as much fat as you can from the top of the broth, then portion into airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

cook’s note: The stock will cool faster in smaller containers. Make sure it’s refrigerated within 4 hours of cooking.


polenta croutons
makes 250 g | prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 25 minutes

250 g ready-to-serve polenta,cut into 1 cm cubes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly groundpepper
Herbs, such as parsley, thymeor rosemary (optional), finely chopped

Bread croutons are so yesterday, but these are a fantastic update, especially if you can’t eat gluten and are normally crouton-deprived. In the old days, I used to stand by the stove stirring polenta forever. Now it’s so much easier, as precooked polenta blocks are available in many supermarkets. Cube ’em; add olive oil, salt and spices; and toss—then bake. In 25 minutes you have croutons. Best of all, you can make a lot because they freeze and reheat well.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.

In a bowl, toss all of the ingredients together until the polenta is well coated. Spread the polenta cubes on the prepared baking tray, making sure they aren’t touching. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
MOROCCAN CARROT SOUP

Moroccan Carrot

makes 6 servings | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 30 minutes

Saffron is one of my favourite spices to cook with. Yes, it can be a bit costly, but you really need very little saffron to get a huge bang for your buck. Here it gives a luscious, exotic taste to the carrots, which are naturally sweet. Saffron is also a visual delight; in this soup the saffron looks like monksí robes tossed against a vibrant orange background. Consider this dish a treat for all your senses.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
Sea salt
1.5 kg carrots, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of chilli flakes
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1.5 litres Nourishing Bone Broth (page 41), plus more if needed
2½ teaspoons Meyer lemon zest (See Cook’s Note)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, plus more if needed (See Cook’s Note)
¼ teaspoon dark maple syrup, plus more if needed
Chermoula (page 122), for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chilli flakes, saffron and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté until well combined. Pour in 125 ml of the broth and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining broth and another ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

Put the lemon zest in a blender and puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the carrot mixture. If need be, add additional broth to reach the desired thickness. Return the soup to the pot over low heat, stir in the lemon juice, maple syrup and a pinch of salt, and gently reheat. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon, a pinch or two of salt, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Serve with chermoula or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

cook’s note: Meyer lemons are milder and sweeter than most shop-bought lemons. If you don’t have Meyer lemons, use 2 teaspoons of lemon juice combined with 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice. As for the zest, regular lemon zest is an acceptable substitute.


nourishing bone broth

makes about 6 litres | prep time: 25 minutes | cook time: 8 to 16 hours

Put this one in the time machine. Bone broths are trendy these days, but in fact theyíve been around since the ancient Greeks. It turns out the gelatine that seeps from the bones as they simmer is great for gut health and digestion. Beef bones also contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium, which are great for your bones. One note: invest in pasture-raised, organic bones if at all possible, to ensure youíre getting the highest-quality ingredients possible, free of hormones and antibiotics.

1.5 kg marrow bones from grass-fed organic beef or chicken bones
3 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled brown onions, quartered
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
8 litres cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Place the bones on a rimmed baking tray or roasting pan and roast until browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

Rinse all of the vegetables well. In a 12-litre or larger stockpot, combine the bones, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and vinegar. Pour in the water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low and skim off the scum that has risen to the top. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 8 to 16 hours (or use my slow cooker shortcut, page 43). As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Remove and discard the bones, then strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve; stir in the salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. Skim off as much fat as you can from the top of the broth, then portion into airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


chermoula

makes 300 ml | prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: none

3 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley,chopped
1 large handful coriander or basilleaves
6 mint leaves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed
lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Normally, Moroccan chermoulas are used as a marinade with meat or fish. But a little tinkering yields an extraordinary drizzle that works mighty fine on top of a soup. Mint, parsley, cumin, paprika, olive oil and lemon juice all combine to create a chermoula with some serious zing!

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
POWER GREEN SOUP

Power Green

makes 6 servings | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 25 minutes

If a soup could do push-ups, this one would. Nearly nuclear in terms of energy, thereís hardly a vitamin or mineral out there that canít be found among the cavolo nero, silverbeet, leek, fennel, garlic and shiitake mushroom base of the Immune Broth. The challenge here was making a green soup that tasted delicious. I think this one passes with flying colours, highlighted by the gremolata topper.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 brown onion, chopped
Sea salt
1 large leek, white parts only, rinsed and chopped
1 all-purpose potato, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes or freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres Immune Broth (page 40)
1 bunch silverbeet, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 bunch cavolo nero, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 medium handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kale Gremolata (page 128) for garnish (optional) or Crunchy Kale Crumbles (page 125)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add the leek and potato and sauté for 3 minutes more. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and stir for another 30 seconds. Pour in 125 ml of the broth, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the silverbeet, cavolo nero and another ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine so the greens will wilt. Then add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the greens are just tender.

In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the greens. Blend the parsley into the last batch. Pour the soup back into the pot, heat gently over medium-low heat, and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste; you may want to add a pinch more salt. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and topped with the gremolata, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

immune broth
makes about 4 litres | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 90 minutes

Whether youíre under the weather or just looking for an immunity boost, this is a great go-to broth. Here I introduce you to burdock root. Itís loaded with potassium, iron, magnesium and ever-important zinc. In the olden days, physicians used burdock root as a blood purifier, and clearly science has shown they were onto something. Here I combine burdock with shiitake mushrooms, ginger and garlic to create a delicious earthy broth thatís full of antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory goodness.

1 fennel bulb plus stalks, cut into chunks
1 unpeeled brown onion, quartered
3 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
½ bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
½ large bunch flat-leaf parsley
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 (7.5 cm) piece burdock root, quartered crosswise
6 sprigs thyme
6 large unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1 (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, halved lengthways
1 (20 cm) strip kombu
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 litres cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more if needed

Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu.

In a 6-litre or larger stockpot, combine the fennel, onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato, parsley, shiitakes, burdock root, thyme, garlic, ginger, kombu, peppercorns and bay leaf. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 90 minutes, or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (use a heat-resistant container underneath). Stir in the salt, adding more to taste if desired. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

variation: For an immunity and anti-inflammatory boost, add three 2.5 cm slices of fresh turmeric root or 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric during the last 30 minutes of cooking.


kale gremolata
makes ¾ cup | prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: none

Here I am, getting all fancy again. Gremolatas are garnishes—usually made of chopped parsley, grated lemon zest and garlic. Me being me, I just have to tinker with things, so sometimes I swap coriander for parsley and orange zest for lemon zest and, what the heck, throw some basil into the mix. Don’t
worry, it works.

1 small bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed

Put all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


crunchy kale crumbles
makes 6 cups | prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: 10 minutes

1 large bunch kale, stemmed and torn into 5 cm pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt

This recipe is incredibly easy to make: just some torn-up kale coated with olive oil and salt that gets popped into the oven. The alchemy of the cooking takes away the kale’s bitterness, leaving you with an irresistible garnish that’s perfect atop a bowl of soup.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the kale is well coated. Spread the kale on the prepared baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, or until nice and crisp. (If it isn’t crisp after 10 minutes, bake in 5-minute increments until it crisps up.)

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Crumble the crispy kale into small pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
SIMPLEST CHICKEN PHO

Simplest Chicken Pho

simplest chicken pho
makes 6 servings | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 25 minutes
The traditional Vietnamese soup pho (pronounced ëfuhí) is a mixture of Chinese and French cuisines. Pho can take a long time to cook, but Iíve come up with a shortcut. Here you take out your muslin, put in spices including coriander seeds and peppercorns, and add cut-up ginger and onion. Then you tie the muslin like a hobo sack to the corner of the pot and delight as the aromatics infuse into the pot. In 20 minutes you have pho broth, into which you place the rice noodles. Finish the pho with a garnish of thinly sliced jalapeÒos, mung bean sprouts, Thai basil and mint, and youíve got an incredibly nourishing dish thatís exploding with flavour.

broth
1 (10 cm) piece fresh ginger, unpeeled and sliced
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan for about 30 seconds, until fragrant
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 small brown onion, halved
2 litres Old-Fashioned Chicken Stock (page 39)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce, plus more if needed

bowls
450 g thin rice noodles (see Variation)
270 g cooked and shredded organic chicken (see Cook’s Note on page 92)
4 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced
1 large handful coriander, chopped
garnishes
200 g mung bean sprouts
12 sprigs mint
12 sprigs Thai basil
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
and thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
Wrap the ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns and onion in a 28 by 40 cm piece of muslin. Tie the muslin with butcher’s twine, leaving a few extra centimetres to secure the pouch to the pot. In a soup pot, combine the stock, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Secure the herb pouch to the soup pot, making sure it’s completely submerged in the stock, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Taste; you may want to add a bit more fish sauce.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, soak the rice noodles in warm water until softened, about 10 minutes. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes, or just until tender. Drain well.
To assemble, divide the noodles and chicken among 6 bowls, ladle in broth to cover and top with the spring onions and coriander. Serve with a plate of the bean sprouts, mint, basil, jalapeño and lime wedges alongside. Or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
cook’s note: Play with the timing on the noodles. If you cook them until al dente, they will finish cooking in the hot broth.
variation: If you don’t want to use rice noodles, try spiralised zucchini (courgette) or daikon noodles instead.


old-fashioned chicken stock
makes about 6 litres | prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 3 hours

Some things you learn at your fatherís knee. But chicken stock? I learned that at my motherís elbow, watching from my perch on the yellow Formica kitchen benchtop as she recreated her Nanaís chicken stock note by note. Onions, carrots, celery, chicken . . . itís country-style, old-time comfort in a pot. I canít think of a better way to get vital nutrients, with a flavour that will leave you longing for more.

3 kg organic chicken backs, necks, bones and wings
2 unpeeled white onions, quartered
4 unpeeled large carrots, cut into thirds
2 stalks celery, cut in thirds
6 sprigs thyme
4 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
8 litres cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
Sea salt

Rinse all of the vegetables well.

In a 12-litre or larger stockpot, combine the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns. Add the water, cover and cook over medium-high heat until the water comes to a boil. Decrease the heat so the bubbles just break the surface of the liquid. Skim off the scum and fat that have risen to the surface. Simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours. Add more water if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with unbleached muslin into a clean pot or heat-resistant bowl, then stir in salt to taste. Bring to room temperature,
then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Skim off as much fat as you can from the top of the broth, then portion into airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

cook’s note: The stock will cool faster in smaller containers. Make sure it’s refrigerated within 4 hours of cooking.

Download printable recipe (PDF)