Simple chicken soup

Simple chicken soup

Canja caipira

This is Brazil
Stuart Scott

This recipe is inspired by the Brazilian canja or chicken soup. It’s a hearty and easy-to-digest soup that is usually recommended when someone is unwell. It’s a recipe that spells home to every Brazilian and it’s also great for kids. This version will take some time to prepare, but it will also leave you with a batch of chicken stock that you can use for other recipes.


Quantity Ingredient
2 onions
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 lemon, zest cut into large strips
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
olive oil, for cooking
1 x 1.8kg whole free-range chicken, cut into 10 pieces
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon butter
300g medium-grain rice
200g green beans, chopped
chives, snipped, to serve
coriander leaves, chopped, to serve


  1. Cut one onion, one carrot and the celery stalks into large pieces. Add them to a large stockpot or very large saucepan with 2 litres water, the lemon zest, the peppercorns and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 25 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and boil for a further 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken pieces and allow them to cool. Remove the meat from the bones. Shred the meat, then set it aside. Return the bones to the pot. Add another 2 litres water and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onion, dice the remaining carrot and roughly chop two of the garlic cloves. Melt the butter with a drizzle of olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, the diced carrot and chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  4. Ladle 2 litres of the chicken stock into the casserole dish, ensuring the rice is fully covered. (Reserve the remaining stock for another recipe.) Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Grate the remaining garlic clove into the soup, add the beans and cook for 3 minutes. Serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with plenty of chives and coriander.
This is Brazil
Fernanda de Paula
Shelley Hepworth
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