CZECH CHICKEN SOUP
For making 5 litres of soup. It is easily frozen.
6 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
¼ - ½ rutabaga (swede), peeled and cut into cubes
To make chicken stock and cook chicken:
10 chicken thighs with skin on
1 stick celery
½ tsp salt
For thickening agent or, as the Czechs call it, jiska (jeeshka):
3.5 oz flour
1½ large onions, diced fine
2 generous tsp paprika
½ - 1 tsp cayenne, depending on how spicy you like it and this soup should be spicy!
8 cloves of garlic, crushed and divided into 2
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp dried marjoram
Place chicken thighs in a large pressure cooker with the sliced carrot, celery, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf and ½ tsp salt and fill with water, to as much water as pressure cooker takes. Mine is about 4-5 litres. Cook on high, as per your pressure cooker instructions, until done (about 30 mins). Remove chicken and cool. Discard onion, carrot and celery. Preserve stock and skim off excess fat as stock cools.
Dice carrots, parsnips and rutabaga to same size and put in stock pot. Add stock and 2 tsp salt and bring to boil. Simmer until vegetables almost cooked.
To make jiska:
In frying pan, add lard and onions and fry until yellow, glossy. Add ½ amount of garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir constantly until colour just begins to turn yellowish. Add paprika and cayenne. Remove some of the cooked stock and add to frying pan, stirring constantly until mixed then empty all contents of frying pan to soup pot. There may appear lumps but these will vanish when soup is brought back to boiling point and by stirring.
Chop chicken into small pieces, include some skin too for flavour but not all. Before adding chicken to pot, taste the soup for amount of salt. I usually find for this quantity that 5½ tsp works well but as per your taste. Add chicken to pot, add caraway and marjoram and remaining garlic. Stir and bring back to boil.
DONE. Best left to stand for 24 hours before serving so that everything melds together.. Freezes well for up to 6 months. Serve with bread.