Chicken and barley broth is filling and nutritious soup with no added fat. This delicious recipe makes enough to serve 6-8 people, which makes it a great hearty meal after a long day outdoors with your family. Prepare it in advance, freeze it and you have the soup ready in no time. Pear barley is a great source of fibre and important minerals, and it is a great thickener for this broth, giving the soup its creamy texture. For more cooking inspiration, have a look at our other soup recipes.
- 1 free-range roasting chicken around 1.25kg (2lb 4oz)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 6 peppercorns
- 150g (5oz) pearl barley
- 1 head fennel, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 leeks, sliced
- 150g (5oz) tiny pasta shapes
- 5tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4tsp concentrated chicken stock
Place the chicken in a large saucepan with the remaining stock ingredients. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover, then simmer very gently for about 2 and a half hours.
Remove chicken onto a plate, and let it cool for half an hour. Strain stock, remove bits and discard. Skim off scum and excess fat.
Discard the skin from the chicken then pull off the flesh in big chunks. Add to the stock with the barley. Season well. Bring to the boil then simmer for 45 minutes. After 25 minutes, add the vegetables. Ten minutes before serving, add the pasta and the parsley.
This gutsy, nourishing soup is also delicious made with pheasant or guinea fowl, freezes well and will keep in the fridge for up to three days.