Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chicken Stock From A Roast & A Delicious Soup

I'm just going to warn you now that for me soup season is in full swing so that means there will be quite a few recipes appearing over the next few months. I would apologise for this, but being such a soupie I see it as a good thing – bare with me if you disagree!

So to get things started I am going to begin by posting my recipe for Chicken Stock. When I was younger we would go through to visit my Granny and she would always have some homemade soup waiting for us. Years later after she had passed away no matter what recipe of hers I tried, I could never get the same smell from my memories when I had been a little girl, walking into her house after our 3 hour car journey to get there. Then a few years ago I decided to make my own stock for the first time, following a roast chicken dinner, and it hit me.....as soon as the stock started boiling away and the delicious smell of the chicken hit my nose I was transported back in time. For all of these years it wasn't the soup I had been smelling, it was the stock she had made up first! In retrospect I should have realised cause once I smelt it again and was taken back in time it occurred to me that her windows had always been steamy, and normally her back door would be open due to the 3 hours of simmering and boiling the stock and the amount of condensation in the kitchen! Anyway I was just so delighted to have finally worked out what it was and since then I try and make my own stock as much as possible. Now by no means do I only use homemade chicken stock for my soups – more often than not I use good quality bought stock – however if I ever have a roast then I will definitely make my own – it's so easy and really worth the effort. All that's really required is some time on your side.

Chicken Stock

This recipe is a basic one and works for chicken and turkey. The water quantities are unspecific due to the fact you just want enough cold water to cover the chicken (or turkey) bones and the vegetables that you have added.

Carcass of 1-2 chickens
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 leek, white & pale green part only, roughly chopped
2 carrots, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into 3 or pieces
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of parsley
4 sprigs of thyme
10 whole black peppercorns
Salt to taste
Cold water – enough to just cover the chicken

Put all of the ingredients into a large stock pan and bring to a gentle boil, then leave to simmer for 3 hours. If you like you can skim any fat or residue from the top every now and then as the stock cooks, however I tend to wait until it has chilled as it makes it much easier. Remove from the heat and allow the stock to cool completely for a few hours. Strain and discard all the bones and vegetables, then leave for a few more hours or overnight and remove any fat that settles on the top then. Put the stock into containers and keep in the fridge or freezer until needed.

Warming Autumnal Vegetable Soup

I was lucky enough to grow up with a constant supply of fresh, homemade soup which is why I think I am such a soup person now. I eat soup all year round but without any question of doubt as soon as the days get cooler, wetter and darker there will always be a big pot or two of soup on the go on a Monday morning. In our family pretty much all of the soups that mum made were pureed, rather than broths with chunks of vegetables or meat, so that to me is real comfort food and that is exactly what this soup is. Warming Autumn vegetables that are full of earthy and sweet flavours, enhanced with the mellow smokiness of smoked paprika. This is the kind of soup you want to eat when the rain is lashing against the windows, the fire is on and you have nowhere to go other than your couch!

{I made this using my homemade stock that was made following a delicious roast Chicken Dinner. If you can try and use homemade stock but if that's not possible just use a good quality bought stock.}

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly sliced
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
½ butternut squash, seeds removed and roughly chopped*
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp sweet paprika
1250ml chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
125ml whipping cream (optional)

To serve:
Crème fraiche or cream

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan until melted and sizzling. Add the onion and leek and cook for roughly 5 minutes until they have softened but not coloured. Add the parsnips, carrots, squash, garlic and paprika and stir well then cover with a lid and leave to sweat for 10 minutes over a gentle heat. Add the stock to the vegetables along with some salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes with the lid askew, until all the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool before blending in a liquidizer or using a hand-held blender, until completely smooth. Stir in the whipping cream.

When ready to serve gently reheat the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot with a spoonful of crème fraiche or a drizzle of cream and a sprinkling of paprika.

*I don't bother peeling the squash for this recipe as it is so thin but if you prefer to, you can.


  1. This soup sounds fantastic..... I always love the addition of creme fraiche on top. This is perfect for the cold days.

  2. Who wouldn't want a bowl of that on a chilly fall day? :)

  3. I totally agree with you about soup. I could have some every day, even twice a day when it's cold out.

  4. This soup is beautiful - and exactly what I have been craving lately. I am so happy its fall.. I have been missing my fall soups :)

  5. Wow this soup sounds awesome! I love all the veggies in it! You can bring on as many soup recipes as you like... I love them so much too! Especially during this time of year!

  6. Thanks everyone!

    I'm delighted that I seem to have struck a cord with you all regarding soup season cause I've just finished editing the photos for my next soup! I did warn you!!

  7. great colours, vibrant, earthy and looks so delish!

  8. Lynds, comforting soup with a nice story to boot!
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks Yummychooeats and Jacqueline! : )

  10. Fall always makes me crave soup. I love this recipe!

  11. Wow this soup looks sooo good and comforting! Can't wait to try this out. Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  12. Thanks Icancookthat and Lindsey! Hope you enjoy it : )

  13. Hi...In regards to the making of the chicken stock; Every roast chicken I cook, every cooked chook I buy from the supermarket or even takeaway whole chook I always make stock out of the leftovers bones & meat. The dog is in seventh Heaven as I slide all the leftover meat off the bones at the end for him & he also gets all the veges except the onion. At times I put in everything that is left over, stuffing & all & even the juices from the bag if bought. I know there is a lot of fat in bought cooked chickens but like in the recipe posted you just strain it all, let it go cold, even freeze it, & the fat solidifies on the top & all you do is just spoon it off in big chunks or scrape it off if frozen. If I cannot make the stock that night I just put the whole lot in the freezer & make it another time. Sometimes I have a few bags pile up & that is good as like last night I wanted some stock for the weekend so just simmered it all up & made the most delicious stock. Most times I put in the veges, sometimes just onions & whole garlic cloves but as I did not have any last night I just used the 3 carcuses & a little salt & it was still seriously yum!


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