Roast chicken noodle soup with leeks, peas and dill

Rings of lightly caramelised leeks give an otherwise simple chicken noodle soup a buttery sweetness and a little visual elegance. Use long, skinny leeks if possible, to get more rings

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 long leeks, tough outer leaves discarded, and the white and very pale green parts sliced into 5mm/¼in-thick rings
  • Flaky coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.7ltr/3pt chicken stock, ideally home-made
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 175g/6oz small dried pasta shapes
  • 450g/1lb medium shreds of roast chicken
  • 225g/8oz frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill


Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks in a single layer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Season the leeks with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and cook, turning once and reducing the heat to low halfway through, for about 18 minutes, until both sides are golden.

Meanwhile, add the stock and garlic to a large heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Add the dried pasta and cook, stirring every now and then, for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic.

Set aside a few leeks per serving for garnish, then add the remaining leeks to the soup, along with the chicken, peas and dill. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, ladle into warm serving bowls and serve garnished with the reserved leeks.

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