It’s time for another Portuguese cooking! But you know what? I’m awful. The first recipe was all the way back in April. 5 months ago! But in my defence, getting these recipes isn’t just as simple as searching through my mom’s recipe files. Like any good woman from the old country, her Portuguese recipes are all in her head, which is why I’m (slowly) recording them all here for future use. Because let’s face it, as cool as it is, memorizing recipes is a lost art.
And so I bring you my favourite soup.
I grew up with two soups – the standard kale and potato soup (caldo verde, recipe to come in the future) and, every so often, Canja.
In São Miguel, Canja soup was only made for very special occasions such as weddings. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait until a wedding to eat this delicious soup, but it is a little labour intensive (and absolutely well worth it).
The rice and chicken turn this soup into a homey, cold winter day delight, but it’s the hint of lemon that makes it refreshing and perfect all year round.
- 6 cups water (or more)
- ¼ stewing hen
- 1 cup white, short grain rice
- 3 large carrots
- ¼ lemon peel - sliced into one piece
- salt to taste
- parsley, chopped, to garnish
- Add 6 cups of water to a large pot with the ¼ stewing hen. Boil over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the stewing hen is completely cooked.
- Remove the stewing hen from the water and set aside for later use. Strain any fat or other particles from the water.
- Rinse rice in 2-3 changes of cold water.
- Place rice in chicken broth with a pinch of salt and a quarter lemon peel and cover with lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once or twice, and cover.
- Peel and slice carrots julienne (matchstick) and add to rice. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes, until tender. The rice absorbs a lot of water, so if you notice it running low feel free to add another cup or two.
- While the rice cooks, remove chicken from bone and shred into bite size pieces. Once rice is cooked add the chicken and remove the lemon peel. Cook just long enough to reheat the chicken.
- Serve hot with chopped parsley for garnish.
*Historical note: The carrot is a newer addition to the recipe. My parents never had carrots growing up), but my mom added the orange veg when they moved to Canada after discovering what carrots were). It not only adds colour but just that little extra kick of extra flavour and texture.
Happy soup making!