Chilli chicken soup

Photographer: Adam
Serves 6

Chicken soup is just plain good for the soul. I make the effort to use free range chicken where possible – I think the flavour is much deeper, and it shines through in this warming soup. I love clear soups; a nourishing broth to cure what ails you. This one is particularly tasty, made with some of my favourite Mexican-inspired flavours. At this time of year it is a nice change to have a runny nose as a result of eating something spicy, rather than from a dose of cold or flu!


6 free-range chicken legs
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, oregano

2 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock – try this recipe here from Susie
1 cup water
600g pumpkin, cubed
1 tsp juniper berries
Zest and juice of one lime
Cracked black pepper

250g cherry tomatoes, halved
5 stalks spring onions, finely sliced
1 each green, red, and yellow fresh long chillies, very finely sliced
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Optional: sour cream


1. Rub chicken pieces with cumin, coriander and oregano. Heat oil in a medium-sized pan and add squashed, whole garlic cloves to season the oil. When sizzling add chicken and brown well on all sides. Set aside.
2. In a soup pot sauté bacon, red onion, celery, garlic and ground cumin over a medium heat. Once onion is soft and translucent, add wine, turn up heat and cook off the alcohol. Add stock and water; reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
3. Add pumpkin and juniper berries. Add chicken pieces and simmer uncovered for around 20 minutes – until pumpkin is tender and chicken cooked through.
4. Season to taste, add lime zest and juice. Pour into serving bowls, removing any juniper berries, and top each with a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, finely diced spring onions, finely sliced chilli pieces, chopped fresh coriander and (optional) a dollop of sour cream.