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I'm making chicken soup today, almost solely so I can eat sippets; tiny crunchy pillow croutons I haven't had since I was a kid but found on the weekend.

I'm using a recipe from The World of Jewish Cooking, by Gil Marks. The first time I made this soup, I was a doubter. I thought, "Surely just chucking it all in at the same time will work," but I followed the recipe, with variations, and my goodness. What I got was real chicken soup, not stock at all. I'm sure a chemist would be able to tell me why this is so.

Here's my variation of chicken soup:

To a large pot, add three chicken wings and two chicken legs. Cover with water, bring to the boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add two sliced onions and cook for an hour.

Add two carrots cut in half, three celery stalks cut in half, one turnip cut in quarters (the recipe asked for parsnip, but the first time I couldn't find any so I used turnip and it was yum, and the second time they were ten bucks a kilo as opposed to turnips being 3 bucks a kilo, and I do love to save the pennies), two teaspoons dried parsley (you can use fresh of course), 8 peppercorns or a couple of pinches of ground pepper and a bay leaf. Simmer for about an hour.

Chicken should be so tender it's almost dissolved by now.

Add some salt. The recipe said 2.5 teaspoons, which sounded like an insane amount, so I used 1.5 and that was plenty. In fact it was only just under too much.

Add two slices of fennel.

Cook ten minutes.

DONE!

Strain the soup.

Serve with sippets.

I used the chicken to make spring rolls last time; tonight I'm going to use it to make ravioli with a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce. If you want to come for dinner you should bring a bottle of wine.

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