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Rustic Chicken, Heritage Carrot, and Potato Soup Recipe

Updated on September 26, 2017
Gordon N Hamilton profile image

Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.

Rustic chicken, heritage carrot and potato soup
Rustic chicken, heritage carrot and potato soup

Chicken soup recipes exist in their tens of thousands and more, but many of them in the present have become excessively complicated and tend to employ less-than-fresh ingredients. Very often, the best recipes of any type contain only a few ingredients and are cooked in the simplest fashion possible. The whole idea of this recipe is about employing simplicity to recreate the true and authentic taste of chicken soup of yesteryear. It is the perfect recipe to make in those late summer months when the nights grow that little bit cooler and locally grown vegetables are available in their freshest form.

Assorted homegrown heritage carrots
Assorted homegrown heritage carrots

Heritage vegetables are simply those which have not been tampered with in any way by modern scientific techniques to allegedly improve upon their size, appearance and flavour. They are often unavailable in conventional supermarkets but can regularly be found at farmers' markets, or best of all, homegrown in a domestic garden. The carrots used in this recipe may look unusual but records of purple and pale yellow carrots predate those of orange ones by many years and these tasty little beauties truly provide an authentic carrot taste never before experienced by many people. The carrots and the potatoes used in this chicken soup recipe were dug from the ground a matter of minutes before being added to the pot, ensuring their natural sugars and vitamins are fully incorporated in the finished dish.

Soup Ingredients

Oven ready chicken
Oven ready chicken
  • 1 three pound, free range, organic chicken (leg meat only will ultimately be used for soup)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for rubbing on to chicken
  • 1 large standard carrot
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 small to medium mixed heritage carrots
  • 6 baby new potatoes

Instructions

The chicken for chicken soup is very often poached, fulfilling the dual purpose of cooking the chicken and forming the chicken broth in one simple step. In this instance, the chicken was firstly cooked by roasting, with the bones subsequently used for making the broth. The bird was firstly seasoned in the cavity with salt and pepper before being rubbed all over with olive oil to help crisp up the skin. The bird was then laid on a roasting tray before the breasts and legs were seasoned with some more salt only. It was roasted in an oven preheated to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for twenty minutes per pound and twenty over. This three pound bird therefore required one hour and twenty minutes in the oven.

Roast chicken removed from the oven
Roast chicken removed from the oven

While the twenty minute multiples rule is a great way to ensure perfect chicken roasting, it is still imperative to check that the bird is fully cooked when it is removed from the oven. One simple way of doing this is is to pierce the thickest part of each thigh with a skewer, press down lightly over the puncture and ensure the juices run clear.

Roast chicken is left to rest
Roast chicken is left to rest

Turning the chicken over breasts side down helps the breast meat stay moist as the bird rests. Cover with foil and allow to rest for a minimum twenty minutes.

Meat is plucked from the back of the rested roast chicken
Meat is plucked from the back of the rested roast chicken

When the chicken is rested, start disassembling it by gently twisting the wings and pulling them free. The opportunity should then be taken to pluck the meat from the back of the bird. Do not underestimate the amount of meat that can be found on this part of the carcass, especially the two little discs of flesh around an inch or so in diameter which represent possibly the tastiest, juiciest and most succulent meat of all on the entire chicken.

Chicken breast fillets are sliced free with a carving knife
Chicken breast fillets are sliced free with a carving knife

Turn the chicken carefully on to its back and slice through the flesh around each leg/body joint. Gently twist and pop the legs free. Cut away the wishbone before slicing each breast fillet free, using the bones of the ribcage to guide the knife.

Meat stripped chicken carcass
Meat stripped chicken carcass

The carcass and leg bones of the chicken are subsequently used in forming the chicken broth for the soup. This can be done immediately but in this instance, the items were refrigerated overnight that the soup itself could be made on day two.

Roast chicken legs and breast fillets
Roast chicken legs and breast fillets

The breast fillets from the bird and the other meat collected from the carcass can be used for any purpose of choice. It is only the legs which are subsequently to be used in the actual soup and in this instance were refrigerated in a plastic dish overnight.

Chicken broth ingredients are assembled in a large soup pot
Chicken broth ingredients are assembled in a large soup pot

Peel the skin from the chicken legs and discard. Pluck the meat off in bite sized pieces, re-cover and set aside until required. Put the bones in to a large soup pot along with the main carcass and wing bones. Wash, top and tail the large carrot before roughly chopping. Add to the pot along with the peeled and chopped onion half, the bay leaves, the peppercorns and around a teaspoon of salt.

Simmering chicken broth
Simmering chicken broth

Pour five pints of cold water in to the pot and put it on a high heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Cover, adjust the heat to achieve as gentle a simmer as possible and leave to cook in this way for one hour.

Discarded broth ingredients
Discarded broth ingredients

A large slotted spoon should be used to remove the bones and vegetables from the broth. These should then be discarded.

Chicken broth is strained
Chicken broth is strained

The hot chicken broth should be carefully ladled in to a fine sieve suspended over a bowl to get rid of any remaining solid impurities.

Washed vegetables
Washed vegetables

The heritage carrots and baby potatoes should be washed very thoroughly - scrubbed, if necessary - in lukewarm water. Neither the carrots nor the potatoes should be peeled.

Chopped carrots and potatoes
Chopped carrots and potatoes

Chop the carrots in to approximately one inch chunks. Quarter the potatoes. Pour the chicken broth back in to the (washed) soup pot and add the chopped vegetables. Bring to a simmer for thirty minutes.

Chicken leg meat is added to vegetable broth
Chicken leg meat is added to vegetable broth

Carefully add the chicken meat to the broth and softened vegetables. Stir well and continue to simmer for a further few minutes to ensure the chicken is fully heated all the way through. It can then be ladled in to serving bowls immediately, or cooled and stored in the fridge in a suitable container for up to a couple of days before being fully reheated to serve.

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    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
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      Gordon N Hamilton 8 weeks ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Louise and thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes, this soup is incredibly easy to make which is one of the many attractions. I hope you'll try out something similar.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 8 weeks ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Peggy - and thank you. Yes, the carcass truly does give that extra special flavour and I too have used the idea of chilling the broth to scrape off the fat. It is certainly a good idea for anyone perhaps looking to count the calories but I like the extra flavour the fat brings. Fresh vegetables make all the difference in the world and I like to make the most of them at this time of year.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 8 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      I love chicken soup, and this looks really easy to make. It sounds delicious, and something I would definitely enjoy.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I always use the chicken carcass when making chicken soup. The bones add so much flavor to the final product. I refrigerate the broth overnight in order to be able to skim any fat from the top of the broth. Love the fact that you can pull those veggies from your own garden to be used in the soup. I at one time had a huge garden but no longer do. This article of yours should surely make it to the niche cooking site.