1 chicken carcass
1 onion, quartered
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 thyme or basil sprigs
1.25 litres (24 pints) boiling water
2 teaspoon black peppercorns, roughly crushed
100 g (3½ oz) spinach, rinsed, drained and roughly torn
3 tomatoes, diced
250 g (8 oz) fresh spinach tortelloni
freshly grated Parmesan cheese. to serve


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary.
2.Put the chicken carcass into the slow cooker pot, breaking it in half if necessary to make it lit.
3.Add the vegetables, thyme or basil sprigs and measurement boiling water, then add the peppercoms and salt to taste.
4.Cover with the lid and cook on high for 5-7 hours.
5.Lift the carcass out of the slow cooker pot and remove any meat; cut this into small pieces and reserve.
6.Strain the stock, discarding the bones, vegetables and herbs, then pour the hot stock back into the slow cooker pot.
7.Add the shredded chicken, spinach, tomatoes and tortelloni.
8.Replace the lid and cook for 20-30 minutes, still on high, until piping hot.
9.Ladle the soup into bowls and serve sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan
10.FOR PESTO & LEMON SOUP, cook the chicken carcass as above, then stir 2 teaspoons pesto sauce and the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon into the strained stock.
11.Mix in 125 g (4 oz) finely chopped broccoli, 125 g (4 oz) frozen peas and 125 g (4 oz) rinsed, drained and roughly chopped spinach with the shredded chicken, omitting the tomatoes and tortelloni.
12.Cook as above and serve topped with extra pesto and grated Parmesan.

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