Chicken soup is probably one of the most popular soups in the Western world. In this recipe, I have used the left over chicken carcass, skins, bones, along with other ingredients. This is the ultimate comfort food of UK. For a good soup, it is best to make fresh stock. That is why, both stock making and soup making recipes are given below. Make the stock the day before if possible, it helps to remove the fat from the top.
As with all recipes, ingredients for this recipe are also variable, depending on what you have to hand! Don't think you have to use broccoli because I've used it here. Use any root vegetable you have, and bits of stalks from cauliflower etc. The weights are only approximate, so don't go cutting a up another onion if your 2 onion weigh only 350 gm., and not 400 gm., like mine did. Remember, it is only approximate, near enough! Serves 4-6
Ingredients for the stock
Chicken bone, bits of meats, giblets, skin etcetera, left over from a Roast Chicken
1 tsp. peppercorns
3-5 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1-2 carrots cut into chunks
Boiling water, 2 litres roughly
Ingredients for making the soup
30 ml. Olive oil for frying
2 medium onions (400 gm.), diced
4 large carrots (350 gm.), diced
3 sticks of celery (200 gm.), diced (I didn't have any so left it out, but it works really well, if you have some)
2 peppers, 200 gm., (one green, one red, because that’s what I happened to have) diced
Stalk from 1 large broccoli head about 100g diced
2 large potatoes 400 gm., diced
200 gm., approximately, left over chicken pieces, diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped/crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. celery salt
1 vegetable stockpot or stock cube
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or red/balsamic/cider)
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (to your taste)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 litre hot water
Making the Stock
Place all the stock ingredients in a large pan.
Top up with about 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.
Once it is boiling, turn down to a low simmer and leave for about 1 1/2 hours to cook. (can be cooked in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes).
Remove from heat and sieve into a large jug (I ended up with about 1/2 litre of stock) and leave to cool.
Cover and place in the fridge overnight. This makes removing the fat from the top easier, as it floats up and sets to solid.
Next day carefully remove the solid fat off the top of the stock
Making the soup
In a large pan, soften the onions on a medium heat until they take on a little colour.
Add the rest of the vegetables, like carrots, stalks, celery, peppers, cabbage hearts, broccoli/cauliflower stalks etcetera, but not the potato as they tend to make the soup stick to the pan and burn. Cook for about 5 minutes so the vegetables soften a little.
Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, celery salt and black pepper, then allow to cook in for a further minute or two.
Stir in chicken stock, letting it melt.
Add the vegetable stockpot or stock cube.
Top up with 1 1/2 litre of hot water and stir it in well.
Now add the potatoes. Leave to simmer on medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the leftover chicken and allow to cook through, for about 15 minutes.
Check and adjust seasoning, to see if it needs a little more salt and pepper?
Serve with crusty bread.