Thursday, October 29, 2009

Magic Soup, By Tracey McGarvey-Gilbard 

Despite this challenge being in its infancy, I am already going to break the rules… but only slightly! Instead of chosing a recipe from one of my books I've chosen one that I made up and here's why .......

Sunday was my designated ‘challenge’ day for the week, but my chief recipe taster and I both had varying degrees of colds and therefore spent all day in bed convalescing. By Monday I was up and back to work but I still felt …. Blah….. My chief recipe taster was also still suffering so I thought we were both in need of the restorative qualities of a dish I call magic soup!

I came up with magic soup in the first year we moved to the UK. That year we caught everything that was going around and the symptoms seemed to be much worse than we were used to. (I’ve heard that this is due to Australia being so isolated, so when you arrive in the UK you are exposed to new bugs that you have not yet built up immunity to). After our third bout of illness, in desperation I threw all the following ingredients into a pot and hoped for the best… and it worked!! The ginger and chilli seem to work together to sweat whatever bug you have out of your body and the veggies and chicken seems to infuse ‘goodness’ throughout your system! We named it magic soup as is seemed to cure the ailment as if by magic!!

2-3 of the hottest chillies you can find/handle
3-4 chopped shallots (French) or 1 brown onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 knob of ginger about 5-7 cms in length, roughly chopped
2-3 cups of any green vegetables you like chopped into bite sized pieces. (My favourites are Asian greens like Pak/Bok choy)
Chicken – breast or thigh fillets (about 1 fillet per person), trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite size pieces.
Chicken or vegetable stock – about 1ltr for 2 people

Chop the chillies, shallots/onion, garlic and ginger and cook in some olive oil for a couple of minutes until fragrant then add chicken. Cook for a further 2-3 or so minutes until the chicken starts to cook (you want the chicken to remain white so you may need to turn the heat down if it starts to brown).
At this point you want to add the stock. Bring the soup to the boil and then turn heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes. When the chicken appears to be cooked through quickly throw in the greens and cook for a few minutes more. You want the greens to keep their colour and remain slightly crunchy. If the stock needs more flavour I usually add a few drops of soy sauce to taste.

Once served its quite nice to add some more grated ginger and a few sprigs of coriander, or even tofu if so inclined.  


  1. That looks and sounds delicious. Definitely gonna try that one soon myself. Can't go wrong with ginger and chilli... it's only 9.20am and I want some magic soup!!!

  2. Hey tracey! I found you! how yum does that soup look, i'm sure it tastes just as good. i'll be dropping by to check up on your posts. see you tomorrow. Britt xxxx