Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan
over low heat, then add the onion, garlic, leek and celery. Sauté
stirring frequently so the vegetables don't brown, for 15 minutes
(slowly sautéing the vegetables at this stage allows their flavors to
Add the chicken to the pan and cook,
stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine
thoroughly over the heat. Cook for 5 minutes, then slowly add the
chicken stock, a little at a time, stirring well so that lumps don't
Bring to simmering point, then cook,
uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before blending in
batches until quite smooth. It is important to allow the soup to cool
before putting it in the blender, as the pressure when the soup is hot
may cause the blender lid to come loose and allow the soup to splatter.
Pour the soup back into a clean saucepan,
add the cream, then bring back to a simmer and season to taste.
Pour into serving bowls, swirl about 2
teaspoons of the extra cream through the middle of each bowl of soup,
then scatter with chopped chives.