Chicken and Winter Vegetable Soup PICTURE:
Tom Kitchin's Chicken and Winter Vegetable Soup (Serves 4)

This hearty broth is ideal for a quick weekday supper or sustaining lunch. I often make it in the depths of winter, but it is easily transformed into a spring or summer soup with lighter seasonal vegetables, such as courgette, peas and beans in place of leeks and celeriac. The hint of ginger gives a lovely warm, fresh fragrance. 

Olive oil for cooking
2 carrots, peeled and diced
½ celeriac, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped root ginger
2 free-range boneless chicken breasts, about 170g each, skinned and diced
750ml chicken stock
1 bouquet garni
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g medium egg noodles
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat and add 1–2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the carrots and celeriac and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes, then add the leeks, fennel, garlic and ginger and sweat for a further 2–3 minutes. Now add the diced chicken and stir to combine with the vegetables. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bouquet garni and some salt and pepper. Simmer the broth gently for 12 minutes. Drop the egg noodles into the stock and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 

Scatter the chopped parsley and sliced spring onions over the broth to serve. If you’ve had roast chicken for Sunday lunch and have some meat left over, this is an ideal recipe to prepare for lunch early on in the week. Strip the meat from the carcass, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate until ready to prepare the soup. Use the carcass to make chicken stock. When you make the soup, dice the leftover chicken and add it with the noodles, just to heat through.

The Independent