Creamy Chicken & Leek Soup with Cheesy Scones


Hi all! I feel like recipes have been a bit few and far between lately, which is kind of a mixed blessing - it's solely due to the fact that I have been working so much. I am flat out for the rest of August and into September, but I am going to schedule a day or two in there somewhere so that I can get a few blog posts done - I miss it! In the meantime this doesn't look like much, but it is the most bloody delicious soup - creamy, chickeny, full of homey flavour - the perfect nurturing soup to enjoy when you're under the weather, or to make for a sick friend. It's another of the recipes I put together for Fairfax, so will be appearing in newspapers around New Zealand today. Enjoy the rest of your week! :)




1 size 16 chicken (I used organic)
1 carrot
2 small onions
2 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1 tbsp oilive oil
30g butter
2 large or 3 small leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and sliced into 1/2 cm pieces
¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup cream

Roughly chop 1 stalk celery, carrot and 1 onion, and add to a large pot with the chicken, bay leaves and cloves with 3 litres of water. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 40 minutes or until hciken is almost falling from the bone. Remove chicken from stock, leave chicken to cool for 15 minutes then shred meat from bones. Spoon ¼ cup of stock over the chicken then refrigerate until ready to use. Bring remaining stock back to a gentle boil for 20 minutes then strain through a sieve and refrigerate for 2 hours. (You will need 2 litres for the soup). Remove solidified fat layer from stock with a spoon. Finely chop remaining celery and onion. Heat oil and butter in a large pot and add celery, onion and leeks and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and cook, stirring until thickened and smooth. Add remaining stock and the cream and heat through. Add chicken and heat through for five more minutes (until chicken is properly hot) before serving. Serve with scone fingers, serves 4 (6 for lunch)
Soup can be prepared until ready to add the chicken then when cool, add cooled chicken and deliver as a gift to be heated through before serving.

Cheesy Scones

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups buttermilk plus 1 teaspoon
1/3 cup finely chopped herbs of your choice, I used parsley, sage and chives

Preheat oven to 210˚C. Sift 2 cups of the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Whiz grated cheeses together in a blender and tip into flour then fold in. Mix honey, mustard and buttermilk in a jug and add to flour mix with herbs. Gently fold together to form a dough. Sprinkle remaining flour onto the bench and tip dough onto it. Bring together in a rough ball and divide into two. Gently roll each piece into a log about 40cm long then slice into desired number of pieces (the slightly sausagey shape makes them extra good for dipping into soup). Put on a baking tray, brush with remaining buttermilk and cook 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve the day of baking or freeze and reheat to serve. Makes 8-10 (depending on how big you cut them)

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