© David Loftus
feel good chicken broth
When I was young and felt unwell with a cold or a headache, my mum would make this soup to help me feel better. It used to make me feel like a million dollars after I’d eaten it. It’s probably one of the simplest soups to make because it just involves slowly boiling a whole chicken in a pot with
a few roughly chopped root veg. The fat marbles on top during cooking, but underneath it is nice and clear, like a consommé. Like consommé, if you want to serve this at a dinner party or you want to vary its flavor, the actual soup will always stay the same but the garnish that you add can differ from mushrooms, to florets of cauliflower, to julienned veg. Another nice thing you can do is add a splash of sherry or port just before serving to give it a little twang. All these things are great to try, but I just really like my mum’s simple chicken broth. Her secret ingredient was a slice ofsmoked bacon, and sometimes she’d add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for the last ten minutes.
Put your chicken, carrot, celery and bacon in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer slowly for an hour and a quarter,skimming the white residue off the top every now and again. Add your rosemary sprigs for the last 10 minutes, then removethe chicken from the pan. It should be perfectly cooked, and will be great for salads or sandwiches
or for tearing into slivers to put into the soup. Season the soup with salt and ladle it through a sieve into a bowl, trying not to disrupt the soup too much, keeping it reasonably clear. The finished thing should be a kinda clear consommé.
• 1 3¹⁄₂lb free-range organic chicken
• 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
• 1 slice of smoked bacon
• 2–3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• sea salt
• optional: a splash of sherry or port