Spring has sprung, but rather than the beaming sunshine, dancing butterflies, and birds peeping and tweeting, we’re getting April showers by the bathfull. Which is probably great for all of you with gardens, but I have to admit, it isn’t exactly my most favourite of things. Definitely weather to enjoy this, though – half soup, half stew, warming, filling, and colourful, and a great way of using up left over roast chicken. Leave the cinnamon stick out if it isn’t your thing, but I think it gives this dish a certain je ne sais quoi, managing to add depth and flavour without making you think of apple pie.
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 small fennel bulb, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 400g tin of tomatoes (best quality)
About 600ml stock (I used watered down left over gravy)
1 large can cannellini beans
1 small can sweet corn
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. oil
100g already cooked chicken, shredded
Salt & pepper
Fry the onion in the oil for five minutes, then add the celery, fennel, bay leaf and rosemary. Sweat for about 5-10 minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes. If using large plum tomatoes, break them up into small pieces. Add the stock, beans, sweet corn, cinnamon stick and spices, then bring to the boil, stir, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook with a lid on for about thirty minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the shredded chicken, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the chicken has had a chance to get hot through, season to taste, and serve.