An important point about the A Girl Called Jack recipe book is that it’s not a gourmet book full of fancy creations. It’s a book about making nutritional food at minimal cost. Some of the recipes do have a touch of genius and are full of flavour, others are more ordinary, although I haven’t found anything that I didn’t like so far. The following lies somewhere in the middle …
The ingredients I used today:
- 250 ml chicken stock – can use less if that’s all you’ve got, but no less than 200 ml. (I wouldn’t use stock made from cubes because they ate high in salt, artificial flavourings and palm oil – palm oil production is a major cause of environmental destruction worldwide (although a minority of suppliers manage their crops ethically and sustainably), but unfortunately is in many products you wouldn’t think had it.
- 1 white onion. (Could also use green beans, peas or any other odd veg lying around.)
- 1 large carrot.
- A generous pinch each of dried thyme and parsley.
- Mustard. I think Dijon on it’s own works best, but use whatever mustard you have around.
- Several dessert spoons of natural yoghurt.
- 75 g cooked chicken meat per serving (or more if you are very hungry!).
- All-purpose seasoning (my favourite is Schwartz ‘Season All’).
I obtained the stock by slow-cooking a chicken, then tipping the contents of the pot into a metal strainer resting on a bowl. When cooled a bit, I transferred the juices to a tall glass and after a few minutes poured off the layer of fat which separated out on top.
Fine-chopped the onion and soft-fried it. Cooked the carrot (popped it on top of the chicken in the slow-cooker for 20 minutes, but could have just boiled it, of course) and chopped it up a bit. Everything then went into a saucepan and simmered for 20 minutes – the veg, herbs, stock and a couple of generous teaspoons of mustard.
When it had cooled a little, stirred in yoghurt until it was looking creamy. Could use cream, but yoghurt keeps the calories down. The result was ladled over some broken-up bits of chicken in a bowl.
With the above quantities there was enough for four servings. Tasted excellent. I actually used English and Dijon mustard in my first batch, but next time I’ll use just use Dijon. Nothing wrong with the English, I just think it goes better with sausages! A sprinkle of all-purpose seasoning on top goes well. With the usual cup of tea and assuming a slice of bread and butter, 95p (not absolutely sure as I played around with the ingredients – somewhere between 85p and £1)..
The cost I originally posted was £1.10 a meal based on three servings, but it proved to serve four. Wasn’t sure how to classify this in the ‘categories’ list, but decided to call it a soup, as that was what the final product reminded me of more than anything else – some home-made croutons (a slice of toast cut into little squares) can be added.