3medium sized potatoespeeled and chopped into small chunks
2sticks of celerysliced
good pinch of salt and pepper
2sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
3 ½cups(850 ml) chicken stockwater plus 3 stock cubes is fine - use bouillon or gluten free stock cubes if gluten free is needed
1large onionpeeled and finely chopped
½cup minus 1 tbsp(50g) plain/all purpose flour(use gluten free plain/all-purpose flour blend for gluten free)
1 ¼cups(300ml) milkhalf or full fat
Juice of 1 lemon
1Small bunchfresh thyme
Add the chicken, carrots, potatoes, celery, salt, pepper, thyme and stock to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat.
When the chicken and stock is nearly cooked, take another large sauce pan and add in the butter and onions. Heat on medium and cook the onion for about 5-6 minutes until soft.
Add in the flour and mix it into the onions and butter using a balloon whisk. It should form into a creamy paste (or roux).
Allow the roux to cook for a minute whilst stirring with your whisk, then add in a ladle of the stock from the chicken broth (try to get mostly stock - not the chicken/veggies). Whisk the broth into the mixture. Repeat this until you have ladled out most of the stock from the chicken pan (leaving the chicken and veggies behind).
Then pour the milk into the sauce mixture. Heat through whilst stirring with the whisk. The sauce should thicken slightly as it's heating.
Once the sauce is almost at boiling (don't let it boil) pour it back into the pan with the chicken and veggies. Bring back to almost boiling and add in half the lemon juice. Give it a stir and taste. Add the rest of the lemon juice if needed.
Season with salt and pepper and top with a sprig of fresh thyme before serving.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes - use gluten free stock and gluten free plain/all-purpose flour blend for a gluten free version..
Can I make it ahead?
Yes, make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add in a splash of stock or water to loosen it up again, as it does thicken a little more as it cools..
Will it freeze?
Yes, this soup freezes well. Make the soup, then quickly cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pan until piping hot before serving. You may need to add in a splash of stock or water to loosen it up again, as it does thicken a little more as it cools..
Add chunks of ham at the end and heat through
Sprinkle with crispy bacon
Add extra veggies - such as leeks or mushrooms with the other veggies. For small veggies - such as peas or sweetcorn, add them at the end and heat through.
I haven't tried this soup as a vegetarian version yet. A lot of the flavour comes from the stock and cooking the chicken with the vegetables. If you are going to make a vegetarian version, of course leave the chicken out, but try to use a really tasty vegetarian stock so you don't miss out on flavour. A sprinkling of cheddar cheese at the end would also add more flavour.