Italian-style tomato, chicken and bread soup

I love this soup! It’s my new favorite! Okay, it takes a little time to make, but the result is stunning. Nothing is better then homemade chicken stock. It beats the instant stock cubes by far. Take your time with this recipe. I promise you, it’s a real treat. We might have slightly overdone it on the smoked paprika, but hey, nobody complaint. We left the sourdough out as our main meal for today was pasta. A great balance together. -enjoy-

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4–6)

1 x 1.6kg chicken, rinsed and drained
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 brown onion, skin on, quartered
4 stalks basil
6 sprigs thyme
3 litres water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to serve
1 brown onion, extra, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup (70g) tomato paste
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 x 400g can butter (lima) beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 200g burrata (see tip), torn
4 long-stemmed marinated artichokes, halved
6 slices sourdough, toasted
basil leaves, to serve

METHOD

Place the chicken, carrot, onion, basil, thyme and water 
in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. 
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1½ hours. 
Strain, reserving the stock and the whole chicken. Chop 
the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a clean saucepan over medium heat, 
add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4–6 minutes. 
Add the tomato paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. 
Add the stock, chopped tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, chilli 
and smoked paprika and bring to a simmer. Cook for 
20 minutes. Add the butter beans and chicken and cook 
for 5 minutes or until warmed through. Divide the bread 
between bowls. Spoon over the soup and top with the 
burrata, artichokes and basil to serve.

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