1 tbsp ghee
1/2 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thick circles
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut
1 large handful of string beans
1/2 cup of peas
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
6 garlic cloves, left whole
2 sticks chinese cinnamon
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander powder
big pinch of cumin powder
pinch of turmeric
12 cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup penne pasta, uncooked
1 litre of water or a good quality chicken stock
salt to taste
good quality extra virgin olive oil, optional
Place the ghee in the pan and melt it over a low heat. Throw in the chicken breast in a single layer.
Toss in the turnips, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, string beans, peas and spinach.
Scatter the garlic, cinnamon sticks, clove and peppercorns over the vegetables. Sprinkle on the coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric. Now add the tomatoes and the pasta.
Turn up the heat to a medium low and close the lid. After 10 minutes or so, gently stir the soup to mix evenly.
Pour in the water or chicken stock. Season with salt and give the soup a quick stir. Close the lid and let the soup simmer for about 20 mins.
Give the soup a little taste to see if the veggies are cooked through, especially the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle into soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve with warm slices of buttered toast.
- Childhood Memories and Tips
My kids love this soup just as much as I did when I was growing up. This is by far the most requested soup when they are down with a cold. They slurp away the warm soup and crunch on the toast in blissful silence. I’ve chosen to call this Naanima’s soup for two reasons. One, my grandmother taught my mum how to cook this soup and she’s my Naanima (means Mum’s mother). Reason two is, my kids love this soup because my mum makes it for them when ever she can and they call it ‘Naanima’s Soup’.
I use fresh vegetables as often as possible, but there are countless times I’ve used frozen vegetables and the recipe turns out just fine.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to have all the vegetable listed above. By all means leave out the peas if you hate ’em or just don’t have ’em. Or throw in a can of chickpeas, drained of course. The original recipe, is the one above, minus the celery. My son loves celery so in they went.
Really the veggies are all you.
Now for the spices, I would stick to the quantities mentioned. I remember as a teenager I made this recipe and added about 15 cloves, mann was that a strong tasting soup. Talk about chicken soup being of medicinal value.