About this recipe:This is a wholesome, hearty and warming soup. Chicken is simmered with bacon, clams, potato, broccoli, carrots and celery in a creamy smoked soup base. Serve with fresh crusty bread, if desired. It's the perfect soup to enjoy during the cold winter months.
4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
60g plain flour
1.4 litres chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed chillies
2 teaspoons garlic and herb seasoning mix
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chicken seasoning
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
350ml single cream
1 potato, cubed
1 1/3 (280g) tins baby clams
225g roasted chicken thigh meat, diced
50g butter, cubed
150g coarsely grated smoked Cheddar cheese
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Cook the bacon and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon starts to brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir the garlic, onion, carrots and celery into the bacon drippings and cook for 10 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent. Stir in the flour and continue cooking and stirring 10 minutes more.
Pour in the chicken stock and season with cumin, crushed chillies, garlic and herb seasoning, bay leaf, thyme, salt and chicken seasoning. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, place broccoli in a steamer over 2.5cm of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and place into a liquidiser. Puree until smooth, using some of the single cream, as needed.
Add the broccoli puree, remaining single cream, potato, clams and chicken to the simmering chowder. Return to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cubed butter until melted and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese to serve.