Cooking as a kid: Nanny’s leftover chicken soup | Features

Cooked chicken soup recipes

Text and recipe by

Christina McKenzie

More than any specific recipe, most of my memories of cooking when I was little are simply getting involved in cooking with my

grandmother and mother.

We used to live next door to my grandparents and our gardens bonded together, so my sister and I would run after school and hang out with them. My grandmother, whom we called Nanny, had often made a lovely soup for dinner using the chicken carcass from our Sunday dinner. She always used to make the best soup; It would be so simple but filled with lots of tasty chunks and bobs: leftover vegetables, fresh herbs, shredded chicken. It is such a homely and tasty dish.

I developed my love for cooking from moments like that, and now there’s nothing I love more than trying to do the same for kids. Cooking with the little ones can be a lot of fun, and it’s very simple to get them involved in the kitchen: you’ll always mess around, but it’s worth it! I recently baked with my niece for the first time, she is only two years old, and she loved it. We made a banana cake and she had a great time crushing the banana in her hands and mixing it all. Cooking with your children, or nieces and nephews, is something very special, and teaching them from an early age gives them a great start in life.

Food Revolution Day 2014 focused on getting kids into the kitchen, and there are plenty of resources on the website, from recipes to top tips, to make giving them a taste of real cooking much easier. Be sure to follow our special Kitchen Garden Project blog as well, as it’s packed with even more tips from our experts.

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Even if it’s

the simplest of things, a beautiful rainbow salad, a mint yogurt sauce or banana bread, kids should know about food, and it all starts at home. Try using this wonderful soup as a great way to not only get the kids involved in the kitchen, but also to appreciate the joy of using leftovers. If you need ideas for the starter, try this failsafe and fantastic roast chicken recipe.


Makes 4-6 servings

This soup is somewhat similar to what my babysitter would have made. It’s all about using leftover vegetables and meat, so if you have anything else you need to use, throw it away! You can have it without blitzed like a traditional broth, or blitz to make a lovely thick soup, it’s up to you!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2

  • cloves garlic
  • 1

  • bunch thyme, leaves collected
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into thick pieces 2

  • celery sticks, trimmed
  • and chopped 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped into thick pieces Handful of

  • potatoes, cleaned and chopped into thick pieces
  • 1.5 liters chicken broth or vegetables (preferably made from Sunday roast chicken!)
  • sea salt
  • ground
  • black pepper

  • few handfuls of leftover, grated chicken

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add garlic, thyme, carrots, celery and leeks, then cook for 5-10 minutes, or until tenderized.

Next, add the potatoes and

broth, then cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are well cooked and the soup has shrunk a bit. Stir the chicken 5 minutes before serving and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with a good slice of fresh bread, spread with butter.

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