Habanero Chicken Soup

Yes, another uninspiring title, but it does what t says on the tin.  Not that it’s in a tin….

This recipe uses some of the veg I’ve dehydrated from last season.  There’s not a huge following for dehydrated food in the UK, but when you grow your own, there’s no better way of preserving some veg for out of season use than by dehydration.  You’re left with th emost intense flavours imaginable, and if you use the veg in soups or casseroles, you honestly wouldn’t know that they’d been dried out (I know – you’re thinking of those packets of dehydrated soup and bags of dried out veg that you tried from the supermarket years ago, the ones that even after 3 hours of boiling still broke your teeth? – believe me, things have moved on)

If you’re not lucky enough to have access to home-dried organic veg, you can always use fresh.

Despite the high chilli content (beware – this is a HOT soup), it goes really well with a fruity dry white wine

Serves 2-3, ready within the hour


  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 1 handful of Dried Carrots (or 2 fresh, finely chopped)
  • 1 handful of Dried Courgettes (or 2 fresh, finely chopped)
  • 2 Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 whole Habanero Chillies
  • Dried Mixed Herbs
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 ltr Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Leeks, washed, green & white parts separated
  • 1 handful Arborio Rice
  • some Butternut Squash, diced
  • Extra hot water
  • Handful of fresh Basil, chopped


  • Throw the dried veg, chicken, tomatoes, dried herbs, whole chillies, a little black pepper and water into a pan and bring to the boil (NB: If using fresh courgettes, hold these back at this time)
  • Simmer gently for about 30 minutes to make a stock, then remove the chicken breast to a plate
  • In a second pan, sweat the white parts of the leek in the oil until soft
  • Using a couple of forks, shred the chicken breast.  Discard any tough bits
  • Add the shredded chicken & softened leeks to the stock, along with the squash and rice.  Stir well and add extra water to give a thin soupy consistency
  • Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.  After about 10 minutes, add the sinely shredded leek greens (and fresh courgette)
  • Check the seasoning and consistency – adjust as necessary
  • Remove the habaneros and gently squeeze a little juice from the chillies then discard
  • Stir in the freshly chopped basil and serve immediately

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