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Sit the chicken on top of the sofrito, add the bay leaf and stock melts and enough cold water to come most of the way up the chicken. Bring slowly to a simmer and then put a lid on the casserole. Cook for 1 hr then check whether the chicken is cooked through – the meat should have started to pull away from the ends of the legs if it is. Carefully lift the chicken out of the pan and let it cool a little then ease the breast meat from the carcass. (Cool and chill the breasts if you want to keep them for another day, or chop them if you want to make a generous batch of this soup.) Strip the remaining meat off the bones and chop it into cubes small enough to sit on a soup spoon.
Taste the broth the chicken was cooked in and if it tastes weak, then boil it for 15-20 mins to reduce it then taste again. Don’t season it until you are happy with the flavour. If you want to chill or freeze some of the soup base do it now and add the rest of the ingredients later when you reheat it. Stir in the peas and sweetcorn (if using) along with the soup pasta and bring back to a simmer. Add back the chicken meat.