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Put the chicken thighs in a very large, heavy-based pan and fry for a few mins, turning frequently to lightly colour them. Providing the heat is low, there is no need to add any oil. Pour in the wine, turn up the heat and boil rapidly to evaporate the alcohol. Pile in the veg and herbs, add 1 tsp salt and the white pepper (or you can use black pepper). Pour in 2 litres boiling water. Cover the pan and simmer for 45 mins until the chicken and veg are tender. Take out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and cool for about 30 mins.
Remove chicken from the soup, then strip the meat from the bones. Put all but 140g of the chicken back into the pan. Blitz the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a food processor until very smooth, then return to the pan.
Blend the flour and cream together with a couple of ladles of the soup, then stir the creamy mixture into the rest of the soup and heat, stirring continuously until thickened. You can blitz again if it looks a little lumpy. Chop the remaining chicken and stir into the soup. Scatter with thyme leaves, to serve.
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