This Chicken Soup infused with Juniper Berries is take on a UK traditional roasted chicken set a atop sliced veg and stuffed with juniper berries.
Some soups fall flat due to the cook's reluctance to blend flavors and take a risk. A memorable soup either hits on notes of tradition and memory or piques taste curiosity via unique ingredients. Either if successful, produce desirable aroma, texture and taste. This is that.
This alternative soup rolls the tradional taste with some modernity resulting in a noteworthy new savory soup, straight from Downtown Oklahoma City.
Juniper berries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniper_berry are sold in advance spice sections like Savory Spice, local to North Western Avenue in the Western District, or Whole Foods has a hefty spice section, and they are just prior to 63rd and North Western.
The cook could probably find a local Juniper bush and pluck... that is up to the cook. FYI This writer abhors gin, which comes from Juniper Berries, but this soup is great and tastes nothing like that.
Quinoa Chicken Soup infused with Juniper
Large stock pot
10 cups water or mix of water and chicken stock. ( this writer used home made broth by reducing liquid from carved chicken, carcass (remains from a baked chicken plus the heart,liver,neck and gizzard), strained and liquid only returned to the pot..... water for the remaining amt).
Chicken pieces (this writer used 1/2 pack of chicken tenders) This is about 2 chicken breasts. The clear taste of the white meat seems to make this a better product.
6 Juniper Berries (dried)
2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp ground marjoram
5 large cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp onion powder
Other ingredients :
Juice of 1 wedge of lemon
1 c green cabbage, shredded
1 large sweet potato, peeled if cook wishes, and cubed
Salt to taste,1 Tbsp at least given all the ingredients. 1 Tbsp Butter if desired. Add these ingredients before on the heat, and check regularly to see if this mixture needs more salt as it cooks. It is completely possible to omit salt or fat all together on this recipe and not lose anything.
Boil on medium to low heat until the meat is tender.
Fish out the Juniper Berries and discard, they are ultimately inedible.
Remove the chicken, and let it cool... then cube or slice as desired, return to the pot after the next step.
Remove about 1/2 of the cabbage and potato and some liquid. Puree and return to pot. Hot liquid and blenders are an interesting experience. Be careful. OK to skip this step. This thickens the soup, but not greatly.
1 cup cooked Quinoa ( this is a grain like millet, that if the cook doesn't buy processed, has to be washed repeatedly before cooking due to a natural casing that houses a repellant to birds..... so just add extra time or buy the pre-washed dried grain... or it is bitter and inedible and the cook will wonder why in the world this is in any food. LOL ) Quinoa grain has a super high nutritional value.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142 and adds a great visual to any dish.
10 cooked and quartered small brussel sprouts ( these can be sauteed or briefly boiled) Don't let them lose color.
1 c chiffonade baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp parsley, fresh or dry
Stir the new and prior ingredients.
Warm through and serve with country style bread and butter, croissants, popovers or pita.
This soup goes well with a winter fruit salad, like grapefruit halves or grapefruit, orange and banana salad ( with or without a poppy seed dressing).
This soup freezes pretty well, although the Quinoa can be kind of fragile, and may become unrecognizable upon reheat.