Chicken Soup

A hearty chicken and vegetable soup from Bernadette Herman
Chicken Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 chicken, or boiling fowl
  • 2 leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2.25 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped


1. The night before you want to eat the soup, put the chicken or boiling fowl into a large, heavy-based pan and cover it with enough water to come to the level of the breastbone. Bring the water to the boil, skimming the surface as necessary. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and leave to simmer for 12 hours for a chicken, or up to 5 hours for a boiling fowl, until the flesh is tender when you pierce it with a knife. Keep an eye on the water level and top up as necessary.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool. When the bird is cool enough to handle, remove it from the liquid and set aside. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a large bowl and leave to cool completely, then cover with cling film and chill overnight. Remove any skin and bones from the bird and discard as well. Cut the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces, cover and put in the fridge.

3. The following day, remove the layer of fat that will have formed on the surface of the stock and discard. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to just below boiling point over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the leeks, onion, parsnips, carrots, most of the parsley and season to taste. Leave the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Just before the vegetables finish cooking, add the chicken to the pan and heat through. Stir in the remaining parsley and season with salt and pepper.

4. Meanwhile, bring a separate pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 1520 minutes until they are tender. Drain well, then set aside and keep warm.

5. When youre ready to serve, divide the potatoes between soup bowls and ladle the hot soup over.

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