healing soup, a recipe

chickensoup1 chickensoup2 chickensoup4chickensoup3This is my favourite chicken soup recipe, which uses a whole chook (bones in) that can even be started when frozen. It’s inspired by the Chinese chicken and corn recipe – and is so simple, wholesome and healing! There are numerous studies into the healing properties of a chicken-broth based soup, and I do think when convalescing, there is nothing so comforting as a steaming bowl of broth.

You will need:
for the broth:
1 whole chicken about 1.5kg – fresh OR frozen

Your choice of celery leaves, carrot ends, leek stalks, onion skins, garlic, parsley stalks, sprigs of thyme etc…

for the soup:
3 large leeks, sliced finely
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
handful fresh chives and coriander + spring onions
3 cups shredded dark greens like broccoli, silverbeet, kale bok choy, pak choy etc..
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons tamari sauce (or more to taste)
2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
pure rice noodles like vermicelli or pho

2 egg whites

First make your stock. In a large lidded saucepan cover whole chicken with 2 litres of water, salt, splash of cider vinegar and variety of vegetable scraps like celery leaves and stalks, carrot ends, onion skins, green part of the leeks, parsley stalks, bay leaves etc. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3-5 hours (could also use a slow cooker on a very low heat overnight/day). Remove chicken onto a plate and cool slightly. Strain stock into another saucepan and put wilted vegetables into the compost. Pull off all meat from the chicken and shred thinly – you might want to use tongs if still too hot. Compost the bones. To the stock add chicken meat, grated ginger, thinly sliced leeks, 1 cup of the corn kernels (reserving 1/2 cup to puree), asian greens, fresh chopped herbs, tamari sauce and sesame oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add rice noodles of choice and simmer for another 5 minutes. Puree 1/2 cup of corn to a pulp (a stick blender makes this very easy) and stir into the soup. In a bowl lightly whisk egg whites and tip into soup, swirl around with a spoon. Serve with a sprinkle of spring onions. 

Next Monday – October 5th – we will be delivering our first batch of truly-free ranging, pasture raised chickens to Watts’ Fresh in Kyneton. Order yours now by emailing orders@wattsfresh.com.au

Workshops, markets and other things

markets11markets02markets01markets09I’ve been busy baking gluten free delights for Kyneton Farmers Market tomorrow morning – the house is warm and the kitchen fragrant with beeswax baked custards, pumpkin spice and date bread, olives and rosemary, cinnamon pear loaves and buckwheat sourdough… I love the challenge of using fresh season produce in my baking – fresh herbs from the garden, olives, pumpkins and pears from local farmers and of course those beautiful pastured eggs our hens are laying now!

I’ll be doing a number of markets this month, so here are the dates:

Kyneton Farmers’ Market (2nd Sat of the month)
Saturday August 8th
8:30am – 1:00pm
St Paul’s Park, Piper StreetKyneton VIC

Lancefield Farmers’ Market (4th Sat of the month)
Saturday August 22nd
9am – 1:00pm
Centre Plantation, High Street, Lancefield VIC

I am also very excited to be running two Spring workshops in collaboration with the lovely Tasha of A Plot in Common. The first workshop will be an introduction to the art of gluten free bread-making and particularly how to make gluten free sourdough – while the second workshop will be all about cold process soap making – traditional ways to make use of leftover fats and fresh herbs to make beautifully nourishing soap. Go here for more course details and booking.
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Oh and I did I mention our hens started laying? Yes! On average about 170 eggs a day and rather sizeable too – the most delicious, golden yellow, truly free ranging, pasture raised eggs. We are so happy to be suppling a few local cafes and fine eateries and have them for sale in cartons at Watts Fresh, Kyneton and Health on High Street, Lancefield.

our shop

honeytime6 honeytime7soap1soap6We are very excited to announce we now have an online shop for some of farm produce – find it here – or simply click the shop tab above. We look forward to making our seasonal produce available throughout the year. So far we have jars of our raw cold-pressed honey and bars of cold-process soap for sale. The soaps are made using pure beeswax and lard from some of the happiest free-range pigs you ever did meet – they are subtly fragrant of chocolate, honey and oatmeal and extremely gentle on the skin.

March markets

marchmarket1 marchmarket2 marchmarket3 marchmarket5 I’m almost thirty-six weeks pregnant and feeling suddenly very heavy with child! Daily tasks are done at a slower pace and frequent sit downs are required. Still, I am looking forward to appearing at two last farmers markets before I take a winter hiatus from the scene. Tomorrow is Woodend – and I will be selling freshly baked linseed, buckwheat and rice sourdough varieties, olive and rosemary bread, cinnamon, apple and raisin boules and a range of autumnal sweet treats; air-dried fruit leather from locally foraged produce, french baked custards, butterscotch brownies and greek walnut and honey shortbread. Next weekend is Kyneton market – where I will be selling the usual suspects plus some wonderfully fragrant gluten-free (sourdough) hot cross buns in readiness of easter – not to be missed!

March market dates:

Woodend Farmers’ Market (1st Sat of the month)
Saturday March 7th
9:00am – 1:00pm
High StreetWoodend VIC

Kyneton Farmers’ Market (2nd Sat of the month)
Saturday March 14th
8:30am – 1:00pm
St Paul’s Park, Piper StreetKyneton VIC

to market, to market

IMG_0563IMG_6092DSC_0012IMG_7324Hurrah! We just received our official farmers market accreditation – which lets our customers know we truly do grow, use and champion local produce in our baked goods, preserves and ferments. This month I’ll be baking for a number of local farmers’ markets – starting this weekend in Woodend. The usual array of gluten free rice and millet sourdough will be available along with roasted garlic, olive and rosemary boule, Russian-style black bread, French baked custard canelés,  buttery shortbread and spicy honey jumbles. We’ll also have our shiraz grape jam, plum and tomato sauce, spicy salsa and traditionally fermented red cabbage, beetroot and caraway sauerkraut for sale. Any of these can be pre-ordered in advance to pick up on the day.

February markets dates and locations:

Woodend Farmers’ Market (1st Sat of the month)
Saturday February 7th
9:00am – 1:00pm
High Street,  Woodend VIC

Kyneton Farmers’ Market (2nd Sat of the month)
Saturday February 14th
8:30am – 1:00pm
St Paul’s Park, Piper StreetKyneton VIC

Lancefield Farmers’ Market (4th Sat of the month)
Saturday February 28th
9:00am – 1:00pm
Centre Plantation, High Street,  Lancefield, VIC
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See you there!