A four day break in the country was exactly what I need to press my home cooking reset button and my house will be a processed food free zone until the next time that I give in to a cheap take-away pizza. That won’t be any time soon though, because I’ve entered 2019 with strong sense of calm resolve about cooking everything that I eat inside my own house, from scratch. No nasties, no preservatives, only whole natural fats as far as it possible.
I added some leeks to my shopping delivery order last night on a whim, I haven’t had them in ages. When they arrived and were about half a metre long, I was pretty sure what I was having for lunch.
As per usual, I was roasting a chicken anyway, Because its winter and your immune system needs the nutrients, yes really, you can read about it here and as I want to up the amount of veg in my diet by about 100%, then soup it was!
Ingredients: (serves 6)
2 medium onions (finely chopped)
2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 large leeks (or 3 small ones), sliced
1 large potato (peeled and chopped)
1.5 litres chicken stock (fresh, or made with a couple of stock cubes)
A whole chicken
200g Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- Rub a whole chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the skin with salt. Roast according to the pack instructions.
- Put a large pan over a medium heat ad melt the butter.
- Add the onion and celery to the pan and cook until translucent.
- Add the leeks to the pan and cook until they just start to get tender (you’ll see them start to fold in half when you stir them).
- Add the stock, thyme and chopped potato and put a lid on the pan. Leave to simmer at a medium to rapid boil as you want the liquid to reduce by a third so the soup is nice and thick, then remove from the heat.
- When your chicken is cooked, remove it from the roasting pan and pour the juices back into the soup (don’t miss this part, it makes the soup taste absolutely incredible!).
- Blitz the soup it until smooth with a stick blender.
- Divide the soup into bowls (you can put some more heat through it if it has cooled a little too much by this point), grind over some pepper and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese (you won’t need to add salt as you’ll get the right balance of flavour from both the cheese and the salt already in the stock).
- Remove the crispy skin from the chicken and cut it into fine strips with a sharp knife.
- Shred off chunks of the hot chicken meat with some tongs or forks and place into the middle of the soup. Sprinkle with some of the chicken skin and some chopped thyme and serve.
- When you’ve finished eating, move any other meat you want to keep from the chicken carcass and use it to make stock for your next soup!