I love a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings and I always make stock with the leftover carcass. I use it in recipes like my Chicken risotto with mushrooms and bacon and also this delicious creamy soup packed with tasty vegetables. It makes a brilliant weekday lunch or supper full of warming winter goodness. It’s a versatile base that you can bulk up with the addition of pasta like vermicelli and orzo or just serve it with some crusty bread. Delicious either way.
- Serves 4
- A leftover roast chicken carcass plus an onion, a stick of celery, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf
- A mixture of diced and chopped vegetables: an onion, 2 carrots, a parsnip, a medium sized potato, a chunk of celeriac, 2 sticks of celery and a leek
- 25g butter and a tsp of light olive oil
- A generous handful of fresh parsley
- A heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 150 ml double cream
- Salt and white pepper
- First, prepare your stock. Strip away all the bits of leftover chicken from the carcass and set them to one side as you’ll be adding them to the soup at the end. Break up the carcass and add the bones and any leftover skin to a large saucepan with a roughly chopped onion, the celery, bayleaf and a clove of garlic. Cover with water and simmer for about an hour. Allow to cool and strain over a bowl through a fine sieve. Discard the carcass and stock vegetables. If the stock is very fatty I put it in the fridge so the fat solidifies and can be gently scooped from the surface. Don’t get rid of it all as it adds flavour. If you don’t want to make your soup right away, you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze it.
- Meanwhile, prepare the soup vegetables. I peel and chop them into smallish dice and finely slice the leek.
- Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add all the vegetables and then very gently, sweat them for about 8 minutes. To do this properly, make a cartouche by tearing off a square of baking parchment, fold it in half three times and then roughly tear a rounded edge on the outer edge so that, when you open it, it forms a circle. Lay it on top of the vegetables and scrunch it down around the edges. Put the lid on the saucepan and keep the heat low. The combination of cooking in a mixture of steam and butter really brings out the flavour of the vegetables.
- Once the vegetables have softened sufficiently, pour over the stock and whisk in the tomato paste and mustard. Warm it through gently on a low heat (let soup simmer but never boil) and then take a generous ladle of the veg with a little of the stock and put it in a large pyrex rug. Add the fresh parsley and blitz it with a stick blender to a smooth paste. Pour the paste back into the soup. This thickens the soup, adding body and flavour. If you use flour or cornflour to thicken soups it tends to just deaden the flavour and adds unnecessary carbs and calories. You could add orzo or pasta at this stage but it will need to simmer for about 10 minutes to cook through.
- Taste the soup for seasoning – add more salt, white pepper, mustard of tomato paste until you like how it tastes. If you want a deeper chicken flavour you can always add a chicken gel stockpot to it.
- Just before serving, evenly chop the leftover chicken meat and add it to the soup along with the cream. Stir through and serve in warm soup bowls.
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