A hearty slow cooker soup. Vary the vegetables to suit summer or winter cooking for a cheap, delicious, one-pot meal.
1 chicken carcass (cooked or uncooked)
2 medium onions
2 sticks of celery
1 sweet pepper (bell pepper), any colour
2 medium carrots
2 medium potatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
2 level teaspoon of dried herbs (we used sage, rosemary and thyme), see "Advice" section below for details.
1 litre (1.8 pints) of hot chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes, cut in half and chop into cubes.
Peel the onion, cut n half and finely chop.
Roughly chop the carrots.
Finely chop the celery.
Cut the sweet pepper in half, remove the seeds and pith then chop into small bits.
Cut the carcass into eight bits, small enough to fit into the slow cooker.
This slow cooker recipe makes use of leftover chicken which can be either cooked or uncooked. The chicken bones and leftover meat give the very best stock base for the soup - far, far better than even the best shop bought stock. The recipe uses no oil whatsoever and if you want keep the fat content to the minimum make sure you remove all the skin from the chicken before slow-cooking.
The vegetables added to the soup are almost infinitely variable depending on whatever is in season and what you have in the fridge. In summer runner beans, French beans, peas, courgettes and similar vegetables can be used. The potatoes are added to bulk out the soup and absorb flavour. They will also slightly thicken the soup. So if you prefer less thick soup then leave out the potatoes.
We list the herbs we used in the ingredients but vary them for your taste buds and whatever is available. If you use fresh herbs then finely chop them and double the quantity in the ingredients list.
Remember when cooking this soup that there are lots of small bones in a chicken carcass so be extra careful when shredding the chicken to ensure you remove all the bones.
Add the chicken pieces into the slow cooker and pour over the hot chicken stock.
Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir well. Cook for 90 minutes on high heat and then turn the heat to low and slow cook for more three hours.STEP 2
Fish out the chicken pieces from the slow cooker. Remove any cooked chicken meat from the bones (see Advice Section above about small bones), shred it then add back to the slow cooker.
Turn the heat to high and cook for a further 30 minutes. Serve into warm bowls with chunky bread and garnish with fresh herbs if you have any. This soup freezes very well and will keep in the freezer for a couple of months.