Garden Vegetable and Chicken soup

I tend to be happiest at the moment when I’m either tinkering in the garden, weeding and tending my plants or baking and cooking in my kitchen. I’m ecstatic when I can combine the two! Harvesting produce out of my garden and cooking them straight away, for me that is a thrilling experience. Not everyone that I know shares my enthusiasm for my passion of veg growing, but I’m yet to find some one who doesn’t like my food!

I had a really good tidy of my garden today and although the produce I harvested were a little small in size, they were maximum in flavour. Before I had been allocated my allotment, I still wanted to grow veg at home and the only possible way for me to do this was to plant in 3 small raised beds that were recycled out of pallet wood and many, many containers.

It’s amazing what veg can be grown in containers but I realised that the size of the produce is something that you have to compensate for. I successfully grew carrots, parsnips, dwarf runner beans, leeks, chillies and potatoes. Clearing the garden today gave me an amazing harvest of these produce and they all went into a homemade chicken and vegetable soup.

The only vegetable additions that didn’t come from the garden were a few sticks of celery, one onion (I ran out of my home grown ones) and a handful of frozen peas from the freezer.  A few store cupboard ingredients included salt, pepper, chicken stock cube and a tin of the trusty, ever versatile Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Soup. (I always keep a spare can or two in the cupboard for emergency meals – they are great tossed over pasta!)

I simply chopped all of the veg into small chunks, sweated the celery, leek and onion in a little butter and olive oil, added a stock cube and seasoning to taste then threw in the remaining veg. I added enough boiling water to cover the veg and let these cook gently until they were soft. Then I added herbs to taste (dried work just fine) and once the vegetables were cooked I added the contents of the tinned soup. I could have left the soup chunky, but I prefer a velvety texture and so I gave the contents a quick blast in the blender to a smooth consistency and lunch for next week was transformed!

Who said that you can’t have wholesome, nutritional, organic and tasty food all in one go!

Happy cookin’

Debb

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