Chicken and Leek Noodle Soup

A restorative chicken soup perfect served with cheese and mustard toasties!

Serves 6
Hands on time – 20 minutes
Total time – 40 minutes

1 x 1.2kg free range chicken
3 carrots
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 onions
1tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
½ bunch flat leaf parsley
3 sprigs rosemary
1 bulb garlic, halved
1tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
2 leeks , finely chopped
150g green beans, topped and tailed
grated zest and juice ½ lemon
150g medium egg noodles

1 Place the chicken in a large saucepan with one of the carrots, all the celery, 1 of the onions, halved , the peppercorns, bay leaves,  half the parsley, saving the other half for adding at the end,  and rosemary and halved garlic bulb. Season with a teaspoon of salt and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until possible to handle. When cool enough remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool further.

2 Whilst the chicken is simmering away chop the remaining carrots and onion into small cubes. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks and the chopped onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in the carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes .

3 Strain the chicken cooking liquid and measure out 2 1/2 litres and pour into the saucepan with the leeks and carrot and bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. You can freeze any remaining stock.

4 Remove the meat from the chicken and chop into pieces. Add this and the green beans to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

5 Crush the egg noodles into pieces and add to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes until softened. Finally stir in the lemon juice and zest and taste for seasoning, adding a little more salt or pepper if needed.

6 Finely chop the remaining flat leaf parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle the flat leaf parsley over the top to serve.