Just the thing for a cold winter’s day . I don’t often make chicken soup but while recovering from the flu recently it was the only thing I really felt like eating. This is my mother’s recipe, she served it in the traditional Irish way with a big pan of boiled potatoes ( she favours Maris Piper ) which we then added to the soup along with some of the cooked chicken.
It’s worth looking out for soup celery ( see below ) which looks like a thinner version of celery but has a lovely celery flavour, be sure to use all of the leaves too. I was lucky to get some from the veg man who comes to Moy on a Saturday morning, along with lovely local fresh leeks and carrots.
It does require a fair bit of chopping this soup , I would set aside an hour for sure, but it does make a sizeable quantity and tastes even better the next day when no effort is required.
1 large bunch soup celery (or 1 full head of celery)
7 waxy potatoes
3 cloves garlic
Large bunch flat leaf parsley
6 – 7 dessert spoons of soup mix ( wash well )
1 whole chicken (ideally organic, free range)
1 onion peeled and cut in quarters
2 bay leaves
Few stalks Fresh parsley or thyme
Good pinch salt
Few sticks of celery washed and cut in half
7 litres Cold Water
Begin by making a chicken stock.
Wash the chicken well and put in a large pan and cover with cold water.
Add the vegetables, herbs, peppercorns and salt.
Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for approximately 2 hours. Skim often to remove any scum from the surface.
Remove the chicken and strain the stock through a fine sieve.
To make the soup, heat a large pan on a gentle heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Peel and chop the onions finely and add to the pan with a good pinch of salt.
Wash and chop the celery and carrots finely and add these. Add more oil as needed.
Peel and chop the garlic finely and add. Then peel and dice the potatoes and add.
Wash the leeks really well, chop finely and add to the pan.
Cook on a medium / gentle heat until the vegetables are softened.
Then add the stock and the soup mix and simmer gently for about an hour.
Add lots of freshly chopped parsley to finish. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.