Although, I must admit, this is not my best photography work, this soup should not be taken from granted. It is simply the most delicious and effortless way to a quick dinner. I know we’re deep into spring, which is not exactly soup season, but I live in Germany and we’ve been getting some grey days over here, so this still qualifies as the perfect dinner. I love cooking but sometimes at the end of a long day I just want to be able to whip up a nice meal and just relax.
This recipe is very straightforward and I usually eyeball when cooking but I’ll try my best to explain everything. I basically use very simple ingredients but you can add any other vegetables you want. I used to add butternut squash, but since moving to Germany I made some minor changes to the recipe. Every supermarket here sells soup vegetable packs – they’re cheap and fresh and look like this. And that’s I use as my base.
Aside from your preferred vegetables you’ll also need garlic, salt and pepper, spring onions and chicken thighs. I really recommend using the whole leg, because it has a lot of fat and that’s where more of the flavour comes from. Cooking the whole chicken leg (bones and fat and everything) with the vegetables before shredding the meat and adding it back to the pot will bring a rich flavour to the soup and that’s what makes it so good.
Start by seasoning the chicken leg with garlic, salt, and pepper. Let it sit in for a few minutes so it can absorb the flavour (the longer the better). Since I use my German veggie pack as the base for my soup, I usually go for the same ingredients, but like I said you can add butternut squash or any pumpkin variety and it’ll turn out amazing too.
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled, chopped into large chunks
- 1/2 celery root, chopped into large chunks
- 2 stalks leek, sliced into large chunks
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh spring onions
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot, then place chicken legs skin-side down and sear for about 7-8 minutes, or until skin is golden brown and no longer sticks to the pan. Add minced garlic, carrots, celery root, leek, and stir. Add tomato sauce and cook for about three minutes, stirring often.
Add 4 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavors meld and soup reduces, about 45 minutes. At this point the chicken and vegetables will be very tender. Lightly mash the celery roots chunks, remove carrots chunks and carefully transfer them to a cutting board. Cut them into small slices and add them back into pot. Transfer chicken leg to cutting board and using two forks, shred the meat. Let it cook for another five to ten minutes, add the spring onions and you’re done! Don’t forget to taste along the way and adjust as needed.