Place the fowl, breast uppermost, in the bottom of an oval pot just large enough to hold all the ingredients. Place the vegetables and the bouquet garni around it. Pour on water or stock to cover, and slowly bring to the boil. Skim until no more scum forms on the top. As the fat from the bird melts and rises to the top, skim that off too. When boiling point is reached, add the salt and cover the pan, leaving the lid ajar. Reduce the heat and cook undisturbed at a slow simmer for 1½ to 3 hours, depending on the age of the bird. Remove the bird and the vegetables from the pot and strain the broth through a colander lined with dampened muslin.
Clear soup was a way of feeding quantities of hungry mouths quite cheaply – it’s the sort of thing to make for bonfire night when kids and parents need fortifying against the cold.
© 1988 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.