A warming broth

If I wrote my blog in series, this series would be called "recreating memorable food".

However, because I'm far too disorganised to do that (a busy week doesn't allow for scheduling!) I'll just bake as usual and throw in a few of my 'recreated recipes' when I can.

My mountain post last week made me think about other food I enjoyed whilst staying with the family.  A wonderful chocolately loaf cake, delicious French cheeseboards, lemony houmous... and a lovely chicken soup - or broth, as I prefer to call it.

A broth makes me think of sick days curled up in bed; it's a warming bowl of everything you might need to keep you going. Whilst I haven't ever experienced this type of treatment for a cold, I think that it could be very effective!

I've never been one for much meat in my soup. I usually stick with vegetables - occasionally shaking it up with some chunky minestrone or pea and ham - but this type of soup needs it, somehow. It's great for using up leftover chicken and it takes only about half an hour from start to finish. There's no messing around with a blender, either - so less washing up!

Start with basic vegetables - onion, celery and carrots. Chop them up finely so that they cook quickly.

Sauté in a little butter until the onion is translucent. Don't let it burn!

Add a bay leaf and some good-quality chicken stock. Leave to bubble away for ten minutes and add the rice. Five minutes later, throw in some shredded chicken and heat until warmed through.

Serve! (My sister's camera died halfway through and so I had to resort to using a phone. Oh, technology!)

Chicken and Vegetable Broth
900ml chicken stock
1 large carrot
1 large onion
2 sticks of celery
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup rice
1/2 to 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Wash the celery and peel the carrot and onion. Chop them up finely into little pieces. Sauté in a little butter over a low heat until pale and translucent.

2. Add in the bay leaf and pour in the chicken stock. Turn up the heat and place a lid over the pan. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook for ten minutes.

3. Add in the rice. Leave for another 5 minutes before adding in the chicken.

4. Taste to check that the carrots and rice are cooked, and that the chicken is heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve in warmed bowls.