Recipe – Autumnal Roast Chicken Soup

It’s official… making soup is good for the soul. This Autumnal Roast Chicken Soup is a great big hug in a mug and a cost effective way to use up your leftovers. A Sunday Roast has become a family ritual in the Earwicker home. I love it for 2 main reasons:

1) It’s a great way of feasting with family. Around a family dinner table successes are celebrated, feelings shared and plans made. Hence one of the reasons I love feasts!

2) The leftovers! A Roast Chicken will normally stretch to at least an additional 2 meals for the 3 of us. I like the challenge of what creative dishes I can muster from the leftovers.

So my recipe today is one of those creations. Homemade soup made well seems to always delight which in turn spreads a little more happiness around. Food joy at its best. If you want to up your ‘soup game’, you need to keep in mind a good homemade soup is a bit like a good marriage… it needs commitment, time and love. This isn’t a dish you can rush or make a half arsed attempt at if you want all involved to enjoy it. 😉

I love the autumnal colours of these veg

For my Autumnal Roast Chicken Soup I upped my commitment and love by making my own stock (although shop bought will be grand… I do think buying fresh stock rather than using a stock cube is going to make all the difference though!).

The colours of the veg I selected reflect the changing leaves outside 🍁. Plus, I don’t know why, but I have a real thing about purple veg at the moment… so there’s Red Onion, Red Cabbage and Beetroot involved here.

I’ve got a thing about purple veg

I figure most families will have a bag of peas in their freezer and these are such an easy addition which add a bit of sweetness.

Vibrant peas add a sweetness

I’m not going to lie… it was very difficult to photograph the end result and make it look appetising. Any tips on dressing a soup for photos much appreciated 😅…But I PROMISE it tastes amazing regardless of its appearance. So on with the recipe!

Up your soup game

Recipe

Prep Time: 2 hours (if making your own Chicken Stock), 30 mins otherwise

Cook Time: 5 mins to heat through

Serves: 4 adults or 2 adults + 3 toddlers

Ingredients

For the Chicken Stock…

  • Roast Chicken Carcass
  • 2.5 Litres of Water
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Lemon Grass Stalks
  • 1 Teaspoon of Peppercorns
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Red Onion

For the Soup…

  • 2 Litres of Chicken Stock (Ingredients above or shop bought is fine)
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/8th of a Red Cabbage
  • 1 Sweet Red Pepper
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Peas
  • Large Handful of Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 Cereal Bowl of Leftover Roast Chicken
  • 150ml Full Fat Creme Fraiche

To serve…

  • Grated beetroot
  • Single Cream
  • Hot Buttered Toast 😋

Method

  1. ‘Pick the Chicken’ – I’m not sure if this is a commonly used phrase or one I’ve inherited from my Mum. My Husband certainly hadn’t heard of it! Basically, it just means, get the Chicken off the bones/ carcass. Set the Chicken meat aside for now.
  2. If you’re buying in Fresh Chicken Stock you can move to step 5. If making your own stock, put the Chicken Carcass in a heavy based large pan. Cover with water (approx 2.5 litres).
  3. Roughly chop a Red Onion (no need to peel) and throw it in the pan. Also add the Bay Leaves, Lemon Grass Stalks, Peppercorns and Salt, then give it all a good stir up. Try and keep the bones under the water.
  4. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a medium heat. Simmer for around 2 hours. Skim off any white foam or fat that comes to the surface every 20 mins and give it another stir.
  5. While the Chicken Stock is bubbling away prepare your veg. Pre-heat the oven to 180”c.
  6. Start by slicing a Red Onion finely and place in an oven proof dish.
  7. Next, roughly chop the Red Cabbage, Sweet Red Pepper and Carrot into small chunks around 2cm square. Add them to the oven proof dish.
  8. Drizzle over the Olive Oil, toss the veg in it so they are coated and then roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. When they are done, set aside on a piece of kitchen roll to get rid of any excess oil. This step is important to avoid a slick of oil on top of your finished soup!
  9. Take your cup of frozen peas and simply cover in boiling water. Leave to sit like that for 5 minutes until defrosted.
  10. Peel and criss cross the sprouts then boil for 5 mins. Once they are al dente quarter them and set aside.
  11. If you’ve bought stock from the shop jump to step 12. If making your own Chicken Stock you will need to strain it to ensure it’s free of bones, peppercorns or other lumps! If you are preparing your soup ahead of time for the freezer then leave the stock to cool. If you are wanting to eat straight away then there’s no need to leave your stock to cool.
  12. Add the chicken and veg to your stock (if you’ve bought stock from the shop heat it through first!) then portion off half of the mixture, add the Creme Fraiche and blend, using a hand blender.
  13. Add the blended half back in with the unblended and mix well.
  14. If you’re serving immediately, then heat your soup until the chicken is hot through. Alternatively, if you’ve made the soup ahead of time and will be storing it in the fridge for a couple of days before serving it will take just 10 mins on the hob top to heat through at that point. Do not reheat your chicken more than once – not only will it dry out but you’ll run the risk of being poorly!
  15. I like to serve with some grated beetroot on top, a swirl of cream and hot buttered toast for dunking. Enjoy!

Note: If cooking from frozen, ensure it’s fully defrosted overnight in the fridge before you reheat.

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