Chicken soup is a classic family meal for so many of us and this week I am sharing my take on this health-packed staple.
When it comes to meals I always think about the colours I want to see and this one I like to call my hearty Rainbow Chicken Soup because the colour is absolutely vibrant. The flavours is just as lively thanks to Turmeric and a whole lot of celery for that natural bite. What I love about using celery as a way to add some spice to a meal, is that most kids are use to snacking on this veggie so the taste doesn’t overwhelm their senses the way a hot pepper or too much peppercorn can do. Turmeric is used widely as a spice in South Asian, Middle Eastern and South African cooking and if you follow my recipes you will see me adding it to almost everything as it is one of my personal favourites. This spice will add a vibrant yellow colour to any dish and also add a very earthy (semi-bitter) flavour. It’s also believed to have a multitude of health benefits.
This recipe will deliver approximately 8 full-sized serving.
Let’s walk through the process.
1. I like to do all my preparation work before I get the pan going. This is a great task to do with the kids also, give them all a few veggies to help chop! Remember to keep your meat separate from your other veggies and not to cross-use the knife.
2. Before I get the pan going for browning the chicken, I like to get the pot going with the broth and the pasta shells. The shells take the longest to get to al dente (tender), so it’s great to get that process on the go while you do the rest of the work to help this meal get on the family table a bit more quickly. I love the use of shells as it is so easy to eat on a soup spoon, but you can of course choose any pasta you or your family like.
3. Once the pot is on the go with the broth mix and pasta shells, I heat a large skillet with a tsp on olive oil in it. You then add your chicken (which I pre-seasoned…but you can add the seasoning afterwards also). On a high hear you brown the chicken, about 5 minutes. Afterwards, you scoop that into your pot with the broth and pasta and let that flavours do their things on a medium heat while you rinse your skillet and move on to the next step.
4. Once your skillet is back on the heat, add another tsp of olive oil and add your onion. When the onion goes translucent, you add your carrots and spices (turmeric and garlic) You will want to fold all the veggies into the spices so the colours and flavours get well blended. You let this mixture cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Finally, you are ready to add the softer veggies – your tomatoes and spinach. These veggies cook really fast, so I like to add them just long enough to absorb some of the lovely flavours in the pan but not so long that it goes super soggy! About 5 minutes is all you need, then you get to transfer the entire skillet’s ingredients over to your pot which should be simmering away nicely by now.
Once your entire pot is complete, you want to let it simmer over a medium heat for about 30 minutes. At this point, all you are doing is waiting for your pasta to cook to the level of softness you like. So just keep an eye on it once in a while and use your own judgement. This soup is very filling, but if you have left-overs you can easily keep it in the fridge for lunch the next day or freeze it for a later date. I don’t usually present any side dishes with this meal as the soup itself contains your meat, veggie and carb requirements. But if you really want, you can also add some dinner rolls, a caesar salad or a fruit platter.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how you and your family liked it or if you made any adjustments you think is worth it for others to try too. Enjoy!