Simple Leek and Chicken Soup

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By Jill Littlejohn

 

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The key to this recipe is to use homemade chicken broth. Soup is the quintessential way to hydrate and add vegetables to your diet. An organic free-range chicken tastes the best, as do locally bought or grown organic vegetables and garnishes. Reserve 1 cup of chicken as well as chicken bones and/or carcass from a previous meal of roast or grilled chicken.

 

This classic soup has many variations and is best served with a homemade crusty artisan bread to mop up the broth.

 

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Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

4 leeks

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 Tablespoons olive oil

2 liters homemade chicken broth (or organic low sodium mixed with 1 cup water).

4 carrots, sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 or 2 sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper as needed

1 cup chicken, cubed

1 pound cooked noodles

Garnish with slices of sorrel, chives or basil

 

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1. Soak the leeks in water to remove any dirt. Slice widthwise across the stem to create circular ringlets (this makes a nicer and more interesting presentation in the soup).

2. In a Dutch oven, sauté leeks, white part only, in the butter and olive oil until tender.

3. Add broth, carrots, celery and thyme and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

4. Add chicken, salt and pepper, as needed.

5. Remove the thyme sprigs.

6. Add noodles to individual bowls and top with thinly sliced sorrel, chives or basil.

 

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Chicken Broth

 

Makes approximately 8 cups.

 

Leftover chicken bones or carcass (no skin)

4 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon whole peppercorns

1 bay leaf

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Enough water to cover

3 whole leeks, white part only, sliced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper as needed

 

 

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1. Put the chicken, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf into a Dutch oven or a soup pot. Cover with water and bring to a quick boil, uncovered.

2. Turn down the heat to low and simmer until reduced to approximately 2 liters.

3. Strain and reserve the liquid in a bowl.

4. Sauté the leeks in the olive oil in the original soup pot or Dutch oven until golden brown.

5. Pour the reserved liquid in with the leeks.

6. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

7. Cool completely and freeze or refrigerate.