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Chicken Soup with Homemade Stock

This time of year there is nothing more comforting for me than a bowl of chicken soup, made even more nourishing by homemade chicken stock.

The recipe for chicken stock is relatively similar to the vegetable stock, this also being a white stock, with the addition of the chicken bones and more time to simmer. I have chosen to use chicken wings but you can use drumsticks or a chicken carcass. Speak to your local butcher or Farm Shop as they will usually have surplus chicken wings and chicken carcass available for order. For a clear stock we are using uncooked bones in this recipe however if you want to avoid wasting cooked bones use them instead. You can always freeze cooked bones until you have enough to make a stock.

If you use cooked bones or a chicken carcass to make your stock you may want to poach some chicken (in the chicken stock) for the soup.

You can vary the ingredients for the soup depending on what you have in your kitchen, throw in some chopped kale or green cabbage. For convenience use vegetables from the freezer such as broad and green beans. Once the chicken stock is made, this soup only take 10-15 minutes so is a great option for a nutritious quick dinner or lunch.

Serves 4-6

Chicken Stock:
(Makes 1 litre of stock)

1kg chicken wings or drumsticks (alternatively a chicken carcass or cooked bones)

2 sticks celery

2 leeks, just the green tops

2 carrots

Bunch of parsley stalks

2 sprigs of thyme

3 bay leaves

8 peppercorns

For the soup:

2 leeks, just the white part

1 carrot

2 tbsp quinoa

1 tin of white beans (I used butter beans in this recipe)

4 tbsp peas or sweetcorn

Bunch of parsley leaves (picked from the stalks for the stock)

1/2 tsp salt


Method for Chicken Stock:

  1. Put the chicken wings in a pan and cover in cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off the foam that rises to the top. This step is really important if you don’t do it the flavour will be affected.
  2. Chop the vegetables into relatively large pieces. Once you have taken our any of the foam, add the vegetables and aromatics and drop the heat so the stock is just simmering. If you have a wood burner it can sit on top of the stove. Leave to simmer for at least 2-4 hours.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain though a sieve to make sure you remove peppercorns and herbs. If the meat is still tender remove from the bones once cool and set aside to use in the soup.
  4. The stock will last up to 5 days in the fridge or months in the freezer. Use straight away for the chicken soup.

Method for Chicken Soup:

  1. Finely chop the white part of the leek and dice the carrot. Put the stock in a large pan on a high heat. Once boiling add the carrot, leek and quinoa.
  2. Drop the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables and quinoa are cooked to your liking. Add salt, white beans, peas and season with pepper. Check the seasoning, you may want more salt, remember the stock was not salted.
  3. Serve and sprinkle over the fresh parsley.

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