Recipes From My Travels – Freya’s Chicken and Vegetable Broth

Recipes From My Travels - Freya's Chicken and Vegetable Broth

CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.

Okay this dish doesn’t come from anywhere in particular, it’s ingredients can be varied and just use what you have available in the cupboard and fridge.

I’ve always been interested in hearty, homemade comfort food, their origins and history.

Having returned from Corfu, spending two weeks researching and watching chefs/cooks cooking traditional meals in their own kitchens, this only added to my enthusiasm even more.

It got me thinking about ‘peasant food’ horrible as it sounds, that’s what it was and cooks from all around the world are proud of their local dishes and their humble beginnings.

‘Peasant food’ such as Cassoulet, ratatouille, Gazpacho and our very own ‘Groaty Pudding’ from the Black Country are just some examples – Bourou-bourou , a dish I had cooked for me, is traditionally associated with the island of Corfu, is also known as the dish for the poor.

This brings me on to how this recipe came about, My eldest granddaughter Freya, who is seven, wanted to come and visit me as soon as I got back (missing me obviously and nothing to do with the gifts or sweets I may have brought back ).

As she was ‘chomping’ on her sweets from Corfu, we sat and went through my holiday photos and videos, and came across some of the dishes I had witnessed being cooked for my benefit while I was over there.

Now Freya is a little foodie herself and we started talking about how we can make amazing dishes from using simple, good quality ingredients and herbs that are cheap to buy, just as the chefs and cooks used in Corfu.

Now I know Freya doesn’t like Chicken soup (the tinned variety that is) so I decided to make a simple broth for her using leftover chicken and ingredients I had to hand (had not had time to do a big shop yet).

The main ingredient is good quality stock – this is a must. The rest – well, you can use your imagination.

Now as the nosy little madam could smell the aromatics coming from the kitchen, she decided to pop her head around the door and was surprised to find this ‘chicken soup’ was not what she expected.

As she finished her last spoonful, she said it was the ‘best chicken soup’ she had ever had – this only goes to show that with simple good ingredients which are not too expensive to buy, using leftovers and what is available, you can produce healthy meals easily.

After thanking me as she walked away to play on her iPad, phone or the multiple amount of TV channels that we can now watch and take for granted, I had to smile to myself. I thought of how technology over the years had taken over our lives but food, made with amazing simple ingredients, will always stay the same and bring joy to those who are more fortunate.

Visit for more on Paul’s blog and his recipes.

Freya’s Chicken and Vegetable Broth (chicken soup)


Leftover shredded chicken (optional if you want a vegetarian dish)

1 medium onion (diced)

1 eggplant cut into chunks

2 red peppers (seeded and sliced)

1 tin butter beans

15 cherry tomatoes whole

Cabbage or any greens such as kale

Chicken stock (I used two stock pots, use vegetable stock if you wish)

1tbsp of mixed dried herbs

Salt and pepper for taste

750ml water


1. In a large pot add the shredded chicken, red pepper, aubergine, mixed dried herbs, onion and the chicken stock pots, give it a little stir and gently warm on a low heat. This will infuse the flavours.

2. After about five minutes, add the water and gently simmer for 30 minutes (if you want to use vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, this is the stage to add them)

3. After 30 minutes add the cabbage and butter beans, simmer for another 15 minutes – you only want to cook the cabbage gently, not obliterate like we use to in the old days, just enough so we can keep that fresh texture.

4. Finally add the cherry tomatoes, Don’t slice or half them because we just want to gently heat them through (five minutes)

5. The heat will produce an amazing burst of juicy refreshing flavors from the tomatoes.

6. Season to taste.

7. Use a slotted spoon to add the ingredients into a warm dish then ladle the refreshing stock over your ingredients for a perfect no hassle clean tasting soup.



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