Here’s the soup I made the other day!
1.4kg whole chicken (I used yesterday’s chicken carcass, plus a pack of boneless thighs)
4-5 sticks of celery
1 Onion coarsely chopped
1 Bay leaf
A few fresh Parsley sprigs
A few fresh tarragon sprigs (or use dried)
2.5 litres/4 pints cold water
3 large leeks
2 potatoes cut into chunks
150ml dry white wine
2-3tbsp single (light) cream
Salt and ground black pepper
A few rashers of streaky bacon grilled until crisp
1. Cut the breasts off the chicken and set aside.
Chop the rest of the chicken carcass into 8-10 pieces and place in a large pan (if using a pack of chicken thighs, place these in a large pan).
2. Chop celery and add to the pan with the onion, bay leaf, Parsley and tarragon. Pour in cold water to cover the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours. You’ve made chicken stock!
3. Remove the chicken from the stock, cut off the meat and reserve for later. Strain the stock, then return to the pan and boil rapidly until reduced to about 1.5 litres/2.5 pints.
4. Meanwhile, set about 150g of the leeks aside and slice the rest. Slice remaining leeks and celery.
5. Melt half the butter in a large pan. Add the sliced leeks and celery, cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 mins (or until softened, but not browned). Add potatoes, wine and 1.2 litres/2 pints of your chicken stock.
6. Season well with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Part-cover the pan and simmer the soup for 15-20 mins, or until potatoes are cooked.
7. Remove skin from the reserved chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small pieces. Melt butter in frying pan, add chicken and cook 5-7 mins until tender.
8. Slice remaining leeks, add to the pan and cook for a further 3-4 mins.
9. Process the soup with the cooked chicken reserved from the stock in a blender or food processor (I used a Nutribullet). Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add more stock if soup too thick.
10. Stir in the cream, plus the chicken and leek mixture. Reheat soup gently. Serve in warmed bowls. Crumble the crispy bacon on top.