750 ml (1 1/4 pints) hot chicken or vegetable stock
225 g (7 1/2 oz) cooked chicken, shredded
50 ml (2 fl oz) single or double cream
salt and pepper
crusty bread, to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and celery or leek over a medium heat for 7–8 minutes until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until softened, then pour in the hot stock, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5–6 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
Remove from the heat and use a hand-held blender to blend until almost smooth. (Alternatively, if you don't have a blender, push the soup through sieve, or serve as chunky soup.) Stir in the shredded chicken and cream, then season to taste and stir over the heat for 1 final minute until hot but not boiling. Ladle into mugs and serve with crusty bread, if desired.