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I remember hearing, or reading, somewhere that if you ask a professional chef what the biggest difference is between restaurant quality food and that produced by a home cook, they’ll probably tell you it is all in the seasoning; i.e. more salt and pepper equals better tasting grub. It’s a little bit unnerving adding lots of salt as once it’s in there you can’t take it back, add too much just once and you could fall into the trap of becoming an under-seasoner for life. That was me for a spell and could have been me forever more, but then I just thought fuck it and amped it up. My tips are to wait for the food to cool slightly as you won’t be able to detect anything other than ouch with a scorched tongue, add a little at a time and always always taste it as you go.

This soup needs seasoning. Probably less so if you actually live in Bulgaria and have access to the freshest peppers and tomatoes in the world, but in cold wet England, especially in November salt is required.

Makes Cosmin's List


  • 2 red peppers
  • Olive oil
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 onions finely sliced
  • 1 carrot peeled and grated
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g canned chickpeas drained
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Calories | 170
  • Fat | 6.2g

Serves | 10 portions

Prep Time | 10 minutes

Cooking Time | 40 minutes


  1. Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds and stalk. Brush the skin side with the oil and place under a grill skin side up until the skin starts to blacken.  Put inside a sandwich back for five minutes to cool then rub off the skin.  Slice into strips
  2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in large saucepan and cook the onion, carrot and garlic until lightly golden, season with salt and pepper and stir in well.
  3. Dust the chicken legs in flour and add to the pan cooking for a further 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 1.5 litres of water and bay leaves to the pan, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken from the broth, chop into bite-sized pieces discarding the skin and bones. Return to the broth together with the chickpeas peppers and tomato paste.  Cook for a further five minutes.
  6. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.

Based on a recipe found at

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