Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fennel Chicken Soup

This soup is a comforting soup. It is a soup that tells you it's okay to lounge around in pajamas and catch up on your DVR'd shows because after all, it's raining outside. It is a soup that doesn't mind if you shut out the rest of the world for a night. It is a soup that won't judge you for watching unmentionable vampire-themed movies - or maybe the latest Harry Potter marathon. It is a soup that's okay with you throwing in whatever you want to finish off. It's good on it's own, but it can stand a lot of additions. Because this soup is a nice soup. It won't give you a hard time if you just want to be a sloth sometimes. Everyone needs at least one good easy-going soup like this.

Fennel Chicken Soup


1 medium red onion
1 small fennel bulb
2 chicken thighs
2 tsp fennel seeds
2-3 large garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 sprigs thyme (approx 2 tsp)
1 sprig parsley (approx 2 tsp
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
1 cup water (optional)
1 cup cooked rice (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Salt to taste


Slice the onions and roughly chop the fennel. Mince the garlic. Cube the chicken into bite sized pieces.

In a deep heavy bottomed saute pan, heat the oil on medium. When it starts drawing away from the sides add in the onion and saute until translucent. Add in the garlic and fennel seeds, stir, and saute until the garlic is golden brown.

Add in the chopped fennel and cook for about five minutes.

Add in the chicken, stir, and saute until it starts to turn white. Add in the chicken broth, chili powder, and pepper, and bring to a boil. If you are using low-sodium or no-salt chicken broth, add in some salt. If you're using regular chicken broth, you shouldn't need any extra. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

If you like your soups a little thicker, take some of the broth in a little bowl at this point, add a tablespoon of cornstarch, and mix until it is dissolved. Add this back into your pot of soup and stir to mix. This soup also works well with other adaptations - want something richer? Add in some cream! Want something with a little more richness but not so much fat? Add in a dollop of yogurt! If, like me, you forgot that your chicken broth wasn't no-salt and added in salt anyway, it lets you add in some extra water and toss in some leftover rice without any complaints to absorb some of the salt. Like I said, this is a nice soup. It wants you to be happy. It wants to work with you to make life a little easier, a little happier. Take it up on that.

At the very end, add in the chopped parsley and thyme along with the lemon juice, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Take off heat and scoop out the thyme and parsley sprigs (if you have left them whole) and serve.

This soup freezes well - try freezing individual servings for quick defrosting and reheating! 

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