The Cheltonian > Articles

Perfect Chicken Soup

Emma Logan shows you how to make the perfect Chicken Soup, ideal for a freezing cold day

For years now, I have been trying to create meals which the whole family will eat. My son is ‘allergic’ to fruit and veg, my daughter is not a big meat eater, the man is a total carnivore and I just want to constantly lose weight! January is the month where we’re feeling poor, gloomy, cold, man-flu is at a peak and the hangover from the festive season has kicked in.

The solution to all this is a big bowl of steaming chicken soup. Believe me, this recipe is SO easy, even the man can make it and it is brilliant when feeling under the weather or hungover. The recipe is remarkably healthy and cost effective; in addition it can feed a family for the best part of a week and can also be frozen as it is. Ingredients wise, you can add whatever veg you like, though hard root vegetables are best and I try and put in at least 5 to ensure the
kids are getting their quota. (Believe me, they won’t see the veg and don’t taste them either.)

• 1 large whole chicken
• 1 sweet potato peeled and diced into chunks
• A couple of carrots, sliced in thick chunks (no need to peel)
• A few sticks of celery sliced in chunks
• A couple of leeks cut up
• 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
• A whole celeriac/turnip peeled and cut into chunks
• 1 courgette diced in chunks

1. Put the whole lot into a large saucepan. Fill with fresh cold water to near the top of the pan and don’t worry if a bit of the chicken sticks out.
2. Cover the pan, place on stove and bring to the boil. Then turn down and let the whole pot gently simmer away for a good 2.5 hours.
3. Once cooked, remove the chicken with 2 slotted spoons onto a board. The legs or wings may fall off as the chicken is so tender, so you may have to fish around in the pot just checking there are no parts left in.
4. Take off the skin and then remove all the meat from the carcass. Keep the large breast pieces to the side and chop into chunks. The remainder of the meat can be added back into the saucepan containing the veg and stock.
5. Get a stick blender and blend until smooth or use a food processor.
6. Add the diced chunks of breast and season generously. You should have a big pan of thick, creamy soup with lovely bite size chunks of meat.

I promise, the whole family will love you for this!