Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chicken & Barley Soup

**GLUTEN FREE OPTION** Replace Barley with Brown Rice.

It’s that time of the year, or at least it is that time of the year here in Australia, when the weather cools and the body wants nothing more than a huge bowl of steaming soup.

Oddly enough, I grew up eating any style of soup with pasta – not pasta on the side, but pasta to be served in the same bowl, eaten simultaneously. These days, that makes very little sense to me, so I serve any of my western style soups with rustic oven toasts. I haven’t yet uploaded a recipe for these toasts but it is on my to-do list. Once you have a taste of these babies, you will never look back and won’t be able to eat soup with any other accompaniment!

What Will I Need?
500g chicken thigh, cut into quarters
1/2 cup pearl barley (brown rice for Gluten Free option)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 red potatoes, roughly chopped
1 turnip / swede, roughly chopped
1 parsnip, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 cups chicken stock (preferably organic)
4 cups water
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper

What Now?
1. In a bowl, cover the barley with cold water and soak for an hour. Strain, rinse and set aside.

2. In a large stock pot over a medium heat, add all vegetables and olive oil. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes or until the onion has softened.

3. Add the barley, chicken, stock, water, salt, pepper and bouquet garni to the stock pot and bring to the boil over a high heat.

4. Once boiling, remove the bouquet garni. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the temperature to low, and cook for one hour.

5. Remove the lid and remove from heat. Allow to cool and skim off any fat that has gathered.

6. Remove chicken and transfer to a bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken before returning to the pot.

7. Return to stove and heat through over high heat until simmering.

8. Transfer to a soup tureen, or divide between bowls and serve.