In Croatia soups are served all the time, summer, autumn, winter and spring.
For this soup I say serves 4-6, as in my family it served 4 as we have multiple bowls of it, but it will serve 6 if you are having one bowl each.
I like to make it thick and chunky, my husband would make it more soupy, this is where you decide how you like it. As for the vegetables, use what you have, use what you like. This recipe is to be used as a guide, as it changes with what is in season in our garden or in the shops, and with what you have in the refrigerator. I don't actually measure quantities as I'm adding them, I just use what I feel like. If I have capsicum, peas or corn in the fridge, I would add them in.
With the cavalo nero or kale, we grow it in our garden so I picked young leaves, so when I shredded it, I included the stalks. If you use store bought cavalo nero or kale, remove tough older stalks, or add them when you add the potatoes, so they cook for longer.
With the pasta, add in any small pasta shape that you love, I love ditalini, or risoni, but sometimes I just crush up tagliatelle. I add barley as my family love it, if you don't like it, don't add it.
With the chicken you can use thigh cutlets, giblets, hearts, wings, feet, whatever you like. Thigh cutlets and wings cook as per recipe, Giblets, hearts and feet leave in the soup throughout the cooking time.
With the vegeta, it is a vegetable stock powder, it's my favourite one, but you can use whatever brand you love.
This is a feel good soup that is delicious, it is worth a try, and it will not disappoint.
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 chicken drumsticks
1 large onion, finely diced
3 small carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon tomato paste, optional
3-4 teaspoons vegeta, to taste
1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes, optional
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1/2-2/3 cup barley
1 large bunch cavalo nero, shredded
1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 zucchini, diced
1/2-2/3 cup soup pasta, your choice
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, if using, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken, stir through for about 3 minutes.
Add water to pot to come up half way to two-thirds up, making sure all the chicken and vegetables are covered. Add vegeta and chilli flakes, if using, and season with some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add potatoes and barley, simmer for about 20 minutes. Take the drumsticks out of the pot, set aside to cool a little.
Add the cavalo nero, cauliflower and zucchini, bring back to the boil. As soon as it comes back to the boil, add the pasta, stir through, bring back to the boil. Add the broccoli and parsley, cook until the pasta and barley is cooked.
Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken, shred the chicken and return it to the soup. If your soup is too thick, just add some boiling water from the kettle and taste for seasoning, add more salt, pepper or vegeta, if needed.
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