Chicken, Leeks and Lemon soup

Ingredients

For the broth

1 whole chicken (about 1.5kg)
1 head of garlic, halved down the middle to expose cloves
Top part of 1 leek
2 thick slices of lemon
½ bunch dill (20g) — use the entire sprig
½ large bunch parsley (20g) — use the stems and leaves
1 large shallot or onion, peeled and halved
1 tsp salt
1 tbs whole peppercorns
1 tbs whole coriander seeds

For the soup
40g butter (you can use olive oil if you prefer)
2-3 leeks, washed well and sliced thickly (500g)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 thick slices of lemon
1 tsp salt
All of the chicken meat produced above
The entire amount of broth produced above (about 2 litres)
½ bunch of dill, top part only, chopped (10g)
200g fregola, orzo, Israeli couscous or mograbia
Juice from ½ a lemon

PREPARATION:

  1. Start by making the broth — you can do this a day ahead. Place the chicken with all the ingredients in a large saucepan that can contain the whole bird; cover with water (about three litres). Bring to a boil, skim any foam that comes to the top, reduce the heat to low and semi-cover the pot; simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, flip the bird in the liquid, cover again and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. The chicken should be so soft it can easily be pulled away from the bone.
  2. Once the chicken is cold enough to handle, rip all the flesh off and shred into small pieces, discarding the skin and bones, and return the shredded chicken to the strained broth. You can now store this in the fridge overnight — or eat it as it is for a classic Jewish chicken soup.
  3. To make the soup, use the same large saucepan you used to cook the stock; set on a medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the leeks, garlic and lemon slices. Mix well. Add the salt and sauté until the leeks soften, but don’t let them colour; this will take about six to eight minutes.
  4. Put the broth and chicken into the pot and bring back to the boil. Add the fregola (or orzo, Israeli couscous or mograbia), lemon juice and chopped dill. Return to the boil, To make the soup, use the same large saucepan you used to cook the stock; set on a medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the leeks, garlic and lemon slices. Mix well. Add the salt and sauté until the leeks soften, but don’t let them colour; this will take about six to eight minutes.