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Roast Chicken Soup

We always feel as though we’re cheating a bit when we make this satisfying soup — it’s that easy. We, in fact, don’t even roast our own chicken for ‘leftovers’ but pick one up instead at the market, and dinner is put together within the hour. Dead simple, as the British would say. One of the secrets to the deep flavor of this relatively quick-cooking soup is in taking the time to lightly caramelize the onion and carrot, so be certain not to rush this step. Use the time to pull the chicken off the bones and mix up the yogurt that lifts the soup from the simple to something rather more. The other quick and dirty secret that contributes to making this soup special is the use of the stick blender (or food processor) to create a creamy consistency even though no cream is called for in the recipe. Dead simple, and simply good!

Roast Chicken Soup

For the soup:

2 tbs. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into small dice
1 tbs. fresh thyme, roughly chopped
5 cups good-quality chicken stock
10 oz. leftover roast chicken, shredded and skin removed
8 oz. frozen peas
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish:

small container (5-6 oz.) non-fat Greek yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
generous squeeze fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and carrots, and sizzle for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to brown, then lower the heat, add the thyme, and cook gently for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is beginning to caramelize. Stir in stock, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken to the pot, then ladle half of the mixture out of the pot. Puree with a stick blender (or in a food processor), then tip back into the pot with the rest of the soup, peas, salt, and a generous grind of pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes until hot through.

Mix the yogurt, garlic, thyme leaves, and lemon juice together. Swirl some into each bowl of soup before serving, then dust with a grind of black pepper.

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