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Local Tasmanian chef, Lilly Trewartha, has devised some great recipes designed for people recovering from cancer. This is almost a complete meal, and great for sore mouths. It’s also a fabulous use of leftover chicken, especially if others can also make it for the cancer patient.

Good food hygiene practices are essential particularly if you wish to freeze some soup for later. 

A bowl of chicken and vegetable soup, with fruit, vegetables, spice and herbs in the background.

Serves 4


  • 1 tbs grapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 rashers of bacon (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock · 500g raw or cooked chicken (shredded from roast thighs). *See method.
  • 200g grains or rice (barley or risoni)
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch silverbeet or kale
  • 1 cup green vegetables (peas, zucchini, broccoli etc.)


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, bacon and garlic and sauté until just tender (five to seven minutes).

Add chicken stock and 500ml hot water, increase heat to high, bring to the simmer. *Add chicken, if raw. (If cooked, chicken can be shredded and added later) and reduce heat to medium and simmer until cooked through (eight to ten minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool slightly.

Add risoni and carrots to stock and cook until almost cooked through (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, coarsely shred chicken (discard skin and bones) and set aside. Add all other veg to pan and cook until just cooked through (one to two minutes).

Return chicken to pan, stir through to heat, season to taste, scatter parsley over. Serve with crusty white bread.

Nutritional Information

NutrientPer servePer 100g
Energy (kJ)1584333
Energy (Kcals)38480
Protein (g)356.5
Total fat (g)133
Saturated fat (g)00
Carbohydrate (g)296
Sugars (g)41
Dietary Fibre (g)41
Sodium (mg)1307275

Dietitian’s notes

Owing to the meat content of this soup it is a delicious complete meal. Where appetite is small and only a half serve is manageable, it can be fortified before serving with additional olive oil and neutral flavour milk powder based supplements such as Sustagen Hospital Formula (with or without fibre), Proform, Advital or Enprocal. These powders can be sourced by your local chemist, or ask your dietitian for advice and samples. It can be made in advance or by friends and frozen in single portion packs. In this instance it’s a good idea to make the soup without frozen green peas and instead add them when reheating. This will maintain freshness, colour, flavour and texture.

Recipe supplied courtesy of Cancer Council Tasmania

Explore other healthy recipes

A healthy diet can lower your risk of cancer and help prevent other health problems