Chicken and Mushroom Soup

It’s surprising what you can get out of one chicken. We bought a large chicken from Tesco for around £5, roasted it, and had enough leftovers for a chicken korma and a chicken rogan josh- 8 generous portions of chicken at under a pound a portion, that is, if you don’t mind getting your fingers messy picking at the chicken after you have roasted it. And that’s also what you get- the carcass. The carcass, and any bits of meat you’ve left behind will make an excellent stock, which can be the base for a soup or sauce. With stock cubes, it’s easy to not worry about keeping a stock pot or making stocks out of leftovers,- it’s easy to make stock when you need it. But, when making the stock yourself, not only do you get something that tastes a lot better, you’re showing good gastronomic principles, using all parts of the animal to contribute to meals, and not throwing away leftovers.

If you haven’t tried making stocks before, they are actually pretty straightforward. You simply take the bones, roast them (if not already roasted), add some herbs and spices, cover with water, and simmer for a few hours. Once made, the stock should keep for around the week in a fridge, so if you are making a velouté or other stock-based sauce later in the week, you can use your pre-made stock then. Equally, which is what I have done here, you can make it into a soup. This recipe is for a very simple stock, as in my opinion chicken and mushroom soup should be a simple soup, but you can emphasise different flavours if you want. The soup is very flexible- if you like your soup more or less creamy, adjust the amount of cream, if you like it more or less mushroomy, add more mushrooms, or even leave them out all together.

Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Makes around 4 portions. Should keep for a few days in the fridge. Serve with fresh bread.

1 chicken carcass, most skin removed
1 bouquet garni (bay, parsley, thyme)
250g chestnut mushrooms
200ml double cream
A few litres of cold water
Salt and Pepper

1. Make the stock. Put the chicken carcass in a stock pot or large pan and fill with water. Add the bouquet garni, and simmer over a low heat for a few hours. Strain through a muslin and reduce the stock down to around 600ml.
2. Make the soup. Fry the mushrooms, getting rid of as much moisture as you can. Blitz them with a hand blender until as smooth as possible. Add the blended mushrooms and double cream to the stock, then season to taste.

I like my soup mushroomy.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Does living a ‘gastronomic lifestyle’ save money? « oxfood

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