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Recipe Collection

Sunday Night Soup

Issy Croker — 2022

I like to stay home on a Sunday. Saturday is the day for shopping, pottering and exploring London, but on Sunday things slow down and we stay in. A long, lingering breakfast leads to taking it in turns to chop onions and peel potatoes to start our regular A Proper Roast Chicken lunch (see p.140 in Table For Two). By the time the sun starts to set, the stock for this soup, made from the leftover chicken carcass, has already been simmering for a few hours and has usually steamed up the windows in the flat. It’s during those hours on a late Sunday afternoon that I really switch off. Knowing that dinner is sorting itself, we get on with other things as the gentle hum of the stove soundtracks everything.

Serves: 2
Season: Year Round

Photography: Issy Croker
Styling: Emily Ezekiel


1 roast chicken carcass and any leftover meat
1 bay leaf
1⁄2 tsp black peppercorns
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
1⁄2 brown onion
1 carrot, cut into 3 pieces
2 celery stalks, snapped in half
1⁄2 fennel bulb, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil
200g dried stelline (pasta)
a pinch of sea salt
finely grated zest of 1⁄2 unwaxed lemon
juice of 1 lemon
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
dried chilli flakes (crushed red pepper flakes), for sprinkling


  1. Remove the meat from the leftover chicken carcass and place in a bowl to use later in the soup. Put the carcass in the largest pot you’ve got and pour over 3 litres cold water. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, fennel seeds, onion, carrot, celery and fennel.

  2. Another Pantry: Recipe Selections
    Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high. Once boiling, turn the heat to low so the stock gently simmers. Let it simmer for 3–4 hours with the lid off, then take it off the heat to cool a little. Place a large fine colander or sieve over another large pot and strain the stock – you should have about 1.5 litres – and discard the carcass and other solids. Leave the stock to cool if not using straightaway; you can also make it ahead and freeze, or pop it in the fridge for a day or two.

  3. When you’re ready to make the soup, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot on a medium heat. Pour in the stelline and fry until lightly golden, stirring so each star catches a little colour. Just as you start to smell the pasta toasting, ladle in about 1 litre (41/3 cups) of the stock until the pasta is covered and starts to simmer. Stir in the leftover chicken meat and salt and simmer for 6–7 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.

  4. Take the soup off the heat and add the lemon zest and juice. Stir in the cinnamon, garlic and half the dill. Spoon the soup into 2 bowls and top with the rest of the dill and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

— cook’s notes

You can make a version of this soup with pre-made stock and poached chicken, but it’s really good made with the carcass of my roast chicken, as it takes on all the lovely flavour of the bones, butter, lemon and herbs, which impart the best of everything into your stock. Plus, I hate seeing anything go to waste, so for that reason alone I pair the two recipes together. I use variations of tiny pasta shapes, like orzo or ditalini, but I adore watching the star-shaped stelline shimmer in the hot broth.

Read more: Table For Two

Table for Two is like Bre Graham’s little black book, a library of 80 failsafe recipes to cook for the person who means most to you. It’s full of simple but no less impressive recipes just for the two of you, all the while telling the story that food is one of the most stripped back ways to tell someone that you love them, and the table is where so many memories of love, and also heartbreak, can be found.

— about the author

Hailing from Sydney but now calling London home, food & lifestyle writer Bre Graham is currently Lifestyle Editor at Courier Magazine, and recently released her first cookbook Table For Two. Bre also writes the popular newsletter Dishes to Delight, and regularly hosts supper clubs, events and podcasts.


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