Big-batch chicken soup

BBC Good Food - - Inside -

A whole chicken makes a very big batch of chunky soup plus an­other cou­ple of meals if your chil­dren are small – older ones may eat all of it. Treat the recipe as a base and use what­ever veg you like; green beans, spinach, kale and chopped toma­toes all work well. Sofrito mix is avail­able in su­per­mar­kets and is a very use­ful freezer standby. To bulk up the soup, add rice or your choice of grains.

Take to school in: a wide-necked ther­mos. Don’t for­get the spoon!

SERVES 4 with left­overs PREP 10 mins COOK 1½ hrs EASY G

250g sofrito mix (or mixed finely chopped onion, car­rot and cel­ery)

1 tbsp rape­seed oil

1 chicken, elas­tic or string re­moved

1 bay leaf

2 low-salt chicken stock cube melts or cubes

200g frozen peas

200g frozen sweet­corn (op­tional) 200g soup pasta or dried noo­dles snapped into pieces, cooked 1 Fry the sofrito mix in the oil for about 10 mins un­til it is re­ally soft and the onion is translu­cent. Do this over a low heat and don’t let it brown. Tip into a casse­role.

2 Sit the chicken on top of the sofrito, add the bay leaf and stock melts and enough cold wa­ter to come most of the way up the chicken. Bring slowly to a sim­mer and then put a lid on the casse­role. Cook for 1 hr, then check whether the chicken is cooked through – the meat should have started to pull away from the ends of the legs if it is. Care­fully lift the chicken out of the pan and let it cool a lit­tle, then ease the breast meat from the car­cass. (Cool and chill the breasts if you want to keep them for an­other day, or chop them if you want to make a gen­er­ous batch of this soup.) Strip the re­main­ing meat off the bones and chop it into cubes small enough to sit on a soup spoon.

3 Taste the broth the chicken was cooked in and if it tastes weak then boil it for 15-20 mins to re­duce it, then taste again. Don’t sea­son it un­til you are happy with the flavour. If you want to chill or freeze some of the soup base, do it now and add the rest of the in­gre­di­ents later when you re­heat it. Stir in the peas and sweet­corn (if us­ing) along with the soup pasta and bring back to a sim­mer. Add back in the chicken, then pour into a ther­mos.

GOOD TO KNOW 1 of 5-a-day PER SERV­ING 424 kcals • fat 20g • sat­u­rates 5g • carbs 29g • su­gars 5g • fi­bre 5g • pro­tein 30g • salt 1.6g

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