The comfort of chicken soup

There is something so calming about making a delicious batch of soup. As well as the fact that it’s super easy to whip up, you know it’s going to be good for you and taste delicious. It’s a comforting, homely sort of process too. And chicken soup, well, a properly thick, creamy, flavoursome chicken soup is right up there with the best of recipes. You just know it’s going to warm you right through and give you a pep, especially if you’re feeling under the weather, so it’s perfect for this time of year.

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Last week I had root vegetable soup for lunch at work and this week I’m making chicken soup. When I’m sitting at my desk looking at the winter weather outside, it’s going to feel so nice at lunchtime knowing that I already have my tasty soup, and don’t need to brave the wind and the rain to fetch it!

I sweated down potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and smoked garlic with some thyme and chicken stock until it was soft enough to blend. I thought I would bulk it out with some more potatoes but turns out, that can make your soup quite starchy and gelatinous! I thinned mine out with more water and it tastes ok – something to remember for next time!

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While the veg was cooking, I poached four chicken thighs in some water. I find that you get more flavour from thighs and wings and they’re a lot cheaper than chicken breast. When the chicken was cooked through, I shredded it ready to be added to the soup.

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When you’ve blended the veg, stir in your shredded chicken and add some creme fraiche or single cream, depending on how healthy you’re feeling! Season with salt and pepper and you’re good to go!
Approx. 292 calories per serving

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Chicken and Leek Tangle Pie

I know I’ve already posted about this pie once but it’s become a firm favourite in our house and I couldn’t resist taking more pictures of it using my new iPhone! Eeek! I’m a bit late to the game when it comes to Instagram so be prepared for lots of insta-fied photos in the coming posts!

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I love the graduated colour of the leeks – so pretty!

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Sweat the leeks, onions and garlic until they start to soften, then add 100ml water and 100ml white wine and crumble in a stock cube

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Once you’ve cooked the chicken, dust it in flour then add the onion and leek mix, salt and pepper and creme fraiche.

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Crinkle up the filo pastry sheets and scrunch on top of the pie mix, bake in the oven for half an hour

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Delicious!

Creme fraiche chicken with leftover shredded gammon

Tonight we’re having chicken with left-over gammon, cherry tomatoes, onion, and mushrooms in a low-fat creme fraiche sauce – tasty and healthy! It’s Summer-in-Winter chicken – a recipe from Mary Cadogan with a few additions of extra veg and anything I have leftover in the fridge!

Served with a small portion of baked beans, for Tom, and some sweetcorn on the side – delicious and incredibly quick! It’s a great recipe to have on hand as you can edit it to fit whatever you have in the cupboard/fridge and to use up leftovers.

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Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the pan with a small amount of olive oil and then fry the onions,
later adding the mushrooms and the chicken – don’t forget to season – we got some delicious salt pinch pots for Christmas – onion salt, garlic salt and chili salt – so good!

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Once the chicken is cooked through add the leftover gammon (or fry up 2 rashers of bacon) and
then add the halved cherry tomato

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Once the tomatoes have started to show a touch of colour and the edges are turning, add
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche and stir through

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Make sure everything is cooked through and then serve – if on a diet/health kick serve with some salad,
or green beans, otherwise you could serve with some new potatoes

Despite using leftovers in this meal, thanks to our cut-down on portion sizes, we’ve still got leftovers. So I’ve made me and Tom salads for lunch using the leftover chicken and gammon. Yum!

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