spicy tomato fennel chicken soup

I’ve been craving a good warming bowl of soup with lots of flavour and texture. Soups that are almost like stews are probably my favourite types. With layers of different ingredients and things going on its just so delicious! My friend brought me a massive bag of green beans and so many chillies all from the farm next to her. So i’m trying to use them in different ways and this was perfect with using some of my chicken stock and leftover poached chicken. I also was looking for a way to start using the risoni that i’ve had stored in my pantry for quite some time!

This soup is topped with the spicy adjika sauce that I showed how to make and saved in my instagram highlights. Below i’ve added a quick version of it but normally I let it ferment a few days! It’s so good! Do try it out. It basically adds as a great sauce for seasoning, especially soups and dishes like this. Feel free to change up the risoni to something else such as some pre cooked beans or other vegetables. And you can make this a completely vegetable dish – just use extra vegetables instead of the chicken, and use water or a vegetable broth instead of the chicken stock. Hope you love it!


Vegetable Option

Vegetable stock and use other vegetables for example more of the beans and carrot or add in zucchini or pre cooked sweet potatoes or pre cooked beans …or anything else you think of that will work nicely!


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Serves 4-6

large drizzle of olive oil

2 large garlic cloves (crushed or finely sliced)

1 x onion (diced)

1 x large fennel (diced)

1/2 cup pernod (alternatively use something else that will add flavour like white wine and/or fennel seeds)

1 x lemon (zest and juice)

1 cup of passata

3 cups chicken stock (Alternatively use a vegetable stock here or water)

150-200g risoni (The specific amount is up to you but I wouldn’t add more than 200g of risoni as it really is a substantial amount in this soup and does expand!)

130g poached chicken (torn into smaller pieces/shredded) I used leftover chicken from making broth the other day but you can quickly cook up some raw chicken thighs or breast by poaching them in some salted water (just cook it until the chicken has cooked through then tear into smaller pieces).

2 handfuls of green beans (stringy ends removed and then sliced into 3-4 pieces)

1 large carrot or 2 smaller carrots (ends removed, peeled if you like and then sliced into thin rings)

3 cups of water

salt and pepper

Fast spicy adjika sauce (Or alternatively use a chilli paste or other capsicum paste – optional)

1 red capsicum

1 fresh red or green chilli

1/2 tsp salt

1 small garlic clove

1/3 tsp ground coriander

Extra toppings

3 tbsp of olive oil

2 bunches of herbs such as oregano (parsley, mint, dill would also be nice)

1 bunch of fennel fronds (the tops of the fennel – use these here if you have them)

sliced fresh chilli (optional)

Serve with fresh crusty bread if you would like!


  1. In a large pot or a extra large heavy based pan add the olive oil. On a high heat, add the fennel, the onion and garlic and stir often caramelising these vegetables for approximately 5 minutes. Once they begin to get some colour add the pernod or my other recommended alternative in the above ingredients list. Mix the pernod through and let it absorb into the fennel and the alcohol evaporate. Reduce to a medium heat and grate the lemon zest over the mixture and then slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from each half. Stir through.
  2. Pour in the passata along with the chicken stock and combine together, then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Add the risoni, the chicken, the beans, the carrot and the extra 3 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together and close with a lid then reduce the heat to a low. Cook for approximately 15 minutes. Check in on it throughout this time making sure that the risoni doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Give it a stir through occasionally. Taste and season a bit more if needed. Adjust the consistency of the soup with extra water if needed (just add it straight in).
  3. While the soup is cooking, prepare the fast spicy adjika sauce. Blitz together all of the ingredients for the sauce listed above and then set aside until topping the soup.
  4. When the soup is ready to serve, top it with the spicy adjika sauce, olive oil, the oregano or alternative herbs, the fennel fronds and fresh chilli.


Cooking note:

Risoni really soaks up the liquid so do adjust the soup with extra liquid such as water or chicken stock if needed. If serving this later or the next day as leftovers, add a few cups of waters when warming it up. You will notice how when it cools the risoni will expand even more and absorb more of the liquid.


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