There is a distinct feel of autumn in the air, and what better way to celebrate the changing seasons than a warming bowl of chicken soup? The chef at Waverley Hills has shared this soul-food recipe with us.
Waverley Hills is, when it comes to South Africa’s winelands, a little bit off the beaten track. The vineyard nestles on the slopes of the fynbos-clad Witzenberg mountain range with spectacular views over the Tulbagh Valley. Waverley Hills produces high-quality organic grapes and olives watered by pure mountain spring water. Growing organic means that no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used. Instead the soil is fertilised with composts and manure, and cover crops such as vetch and legumes are used for soil improvement and as host plants for beneficial insects. Indigenous vegetation is also allowed to grow wild in proximity to the vines, providing food and a natural habitat for the indigenous fauna and adding a healthy diversity to the vineyard’s eco-system.
As can be expected from an organic vineyard, the restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients sourced from local producers, along with organic products whenever possible. We visited on a bitterly cold winter’s day, and the combination of wholesome country cuisine, the warmth from the open fireplace and the views of the snow-covered mountains was magical.
After your meal, treat yourself to a little shopping spree in the deli where a remarkable array of organic wines jostle for space with olive oils, jellies, tapenades and other delicious treats.
Waverley Hills Chicken & Mushroom Soup:
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 2 carrots grated
- 2 bay leaves
- 50g fresh rosemary
- 50g fresh tarragon
- 100g Italian parsley chopped and added at the end
- 500g chicken breast (roasted/poached)
- 750g mixed mushrooms (portabellini, button and black)
- 500ml double cream
- 500ml chicken stock (preferably homemade)
Sautee onions, celery, carrot and garlic. Add chopped chicken and mushroom. Stir. Add liquids and herbs. Season to taste. Serve with freshly baked bread and salted butter.