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Recharge your batteries with autumn soups

When it’s storming outside and wet underfoot, a hot soup will warm you from inside. Chicken soup, for example, is known to boost the immune system and prevent colds.

How to make a delicious chicken soup

Chicken soup is easy to make. Wash a soup chicken, put it in a deep saucepan and add cold water to just cover. Add a good pinch of salt, throw in some vegetables for flavour – celeriac, carrots, leek and onions. Don’t be too fussy about peeling the carrots, just give them a good wash. And leaving the skin on the onion will give the soup a golden colour. Bay leaves, parsley, lovage and thyme will add flavour. Bring it to the boil and simmer for an hour and a half or two hours. Skim off any froth that forms with a spoon from time to time. When the chicken is so well cooked that the meat comes easily off the bones take it out of the pot. Take all the meat off the bones, cut into bite-sized pieces and discard the skin and any fat. Pass the soup through a fine sieve and pour it back into the pot. Now you can add other vegetables such as peas, cauliflower, parsnip or mushrooms. Finally, add vermicelli and as much of the meat as you would like. Before serving, season with salt, pepper and finely chopped parsley – and you're done.

More ideas for soups to enjoy

Of course, it doesn’t have to be chicken soup. In autumn, seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin, chestnuts, leeks and various types of cabbage are available. How about a chickpea stew or a lentil soup? Make a cream soup by adding cream or crème fraiche to a pureed vegetable soup. If you are counting calories, substitute low-fat yoghurt for the cream. Another tip for a thicker, creamier soup is to grate a couple of raw potatoes into the soup and bring it briefly to the boil. The starch in the potatoes will thicken the liquid. A swirl of high-quality oil such as pumpkin seed oil or walnut oil adds the final touch to a perfect soup.

 

You can add flavour or texture and also make your soup more nutritious with any of a wide range of toppings. For example, whole wheat croutons will add crunch, as will toasted oatmeal or pumpkin and sunflower seeds. If you cook a large amount of soup, you can easily freeze individual portions and thaw them when you need them.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de