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Cream of Chicken Soup with Asparagus

ingredients

serves 4
1/2 small boiling chicken weighing 800 g (1 3/4 lbs)
Soup vegetables (e.g. onion, leek, carrot, small piece of celery or celeriac, turnip)
1.75 litres (3 1/2 pt) 7 cups water
1 bay leaf
5 white peppercorns
1 tsp sea salt
14 oz (400 g) fresh asparagus
150 g (5 oz) green peas, shelled
1/3 cup (50 g) Wholemeal Flour
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml single (light) cream
2 egg yolks
Pinch seasoning salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp freshly chopped chervil

method

1. Prepare, wash and chop the soup vegetables in small pieces.

2. Wash the chicken, cover with the water and bring to the boil together with the soup vegetables, bay leaf and peppercorns.

3. Add the salt. Simmer 1 1/2 hours.

4. Wash the asparagus and peel the woody end thinly. Cut off the tips about 5 cm (2 in) down and put aside.

5. Cut the remaining asparagus stalks into small pieces and add to the stock for the final 10 minutes of the cooking time.

6. Strain the stock and measure out 1 litre (2 pt) of it.

7. Bring this to the boil again before adding the cooked asparagus pieces, asparagus tips and peas. Simmer 5 minutes more.

8. Take chicken meat off the bone, chop into pieces and add to the soup.

9. Mix the flour to a paste with 250 ml(8 fl oz) 1 cup cold stock, pour into soup, simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

10. Beat the cream with egg yolks and use to thicken the soup.

11. Season to taste with seasoning salt and lemon juice, sprinkle with chopped chervil.

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