A modified Hungarian dish, though not all that modified. This was always one of my favorites, something so comforting about the mild flavours, my favorite veges in that yummy chicken broth. Yes, I actually loved my vegetables as a child and I still do! The only changes I have made to mom’s original recipe are the addition of a little spice to add some bite. And of course, coriander was not a typical Hungarian ingredient, so that too is new. My mother was beside herself at the sacrilege of my changes, but even she had to agree that, though not traditional, my version is quite delicious!

1-2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

1-2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 yellow capsicum, seeded and chopped

1 large leek, sliced

1 whole chicken, cut in pieces, with skin and bones

1 cauliflower, cut in large florets

2 large carrots, sliced thick

1 medium parsnip, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

fresh coriander for serving

In a large casserole pan, heat oil and lightly fry garlic. Add capsicum and leeks, cook on medium heat until soft. Add chicken, stir all ingredients together and cook until chicken is white on all sides. Add water to almost cover chicken. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add carrots and parsnip and continue cooking on low heat until carrots begin to soften. Add cauliflower, stir, continue cooking. When cauliflower is soft but still crisp, add peas, stir and continue cooking until cauliflower is completely done. Garnish with fresh coriander, serve in bowls with hot, crunchy french bread.

Serves 4

*For a lighter version, this can be made with chicken skin removed. But keep the bones as they add oodles of flavour.

**This will be more soup than stew. It can be thickened by adding a roux. But I find it more soothing as a soup, especially on a cold night. To prepare this as the milder, original Hungarian recipe, delete the garlic, peppers and leeks, saute the carrots and parsnips in the oil, then sauté the chicken and continue as above. Also delete the cilantro garnish