When you’re feeling down, look to the curative power of chicken soup.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the whole lemon, whole peeled onion and bay leaf. Rub the skin with some butter and a little olive oil. Season and roast about 1 ½ hours at 180C FAN/200C/Gas Mark 6 until cooked right through. Keep the roasting tray and juices to one side to be used later on.
Gently fry the red onion and the garlic in a large saucepan big enough to fit the whole chicken and liquid in.
Add the leeks.
Put in the whole cooked chicken once it is roasted – remove the lemon from the cavity before you do this.
Add 2 litres of stock – and make sure that the chicken is almost completely covered.
Add the roughly chopped carrots and celery sticks.
Add several bay leaves, the small bunch of parsley and a lug of white wine.
Leave the soup to cook for around 4 hours – check the liquid doesn’t evaporate too much and if necessary add a little water.
When the soup is cooked. First toss the sourdough chunks in the original roasting pan from the chicken and place it back in the oven for around 15 minutes at 180C fan/200C/Gas mark 6 while you are finishing off the soup.
Heat a little oil in another large pan, gently fry and soften the remaining sticks of chopped celery, the carrot and the leek.
Remove the chicken from the pan and strain the soup from into the softened vegetables.
Add the fresh peas and allow to cook for a minute.
Shred some of the chicken meat (enough for as many portions as you need).
Serve the soup with the meat, tarragon, parsley and freshly grated parmesan – with the roasted pieces of sourdough bread on the side.