Whether you’re trying to eat healthily or just want to make the most out of your Sunday roast, this chicken and vegetable soup is really tasty served with a chunk of bread at lunchtime. For a more satisfying lunch, we also like to add a little pearl barley, but you could try using pasta, or even leftover rice, if you prefer. Just add for the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking time. You can also switch the vegetables up and use whatever’s in season to maximise the health benefits and keep the soup budget friendly.
Although we like to make this soup using leftover chicken and its carcass, you could use freshly roasted chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings. Once cool remove and discard the skin, then chop up the cooked meat and set aside in the fridge. Reserve the bones so that you can use them to make the stock.
Chicken carcass leftover from your roast chicken, or as many bones you have from roasting your chicken pieces
Large carrot, scrubbed clean and chopped into thirds
One onion, peeled and chopped into quarters
One large stick of celery, chopped into thirds
2 bay leaves
A few stalks of fresh thyme or rosemary if you have any to hand
One tsp of rapeseed oil
Approximately 175g of cooked chicken, chopped
350g carrots, scrubbed clean and sliced
200g potatoes, peeled and chopped
250g purple Sprouting Broccoli, chopped
1 leek, sliced
75g pearl barley
1) First make the chicken stock by placing your bones in a large pan. Don’t worry if they still have a little meat on them – that will add extra favour to the soup. If you have the giblets from the chicken, add these too.
2) Add the rest of the stock ingredients along with a litre and a half of cold water. Set the pan over a high heat and bring everything to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and let the stock simmer for 3-4 hours.
3) Strain the stock through a fine sieve and discard the used vegetables and bones. You need around 1.2 litres of stock, so add a little water if required. Depending on whether you use a carcass and giblets, or just a few bones, you may also want to add a little ready made chicken stock too.
4) Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large pan, add the sliced carrots, purple sprouting broccoli and leek. Fry over a medium heat until the veg has started to soften.
5) Add the stock, potatoes, pearl barley and chicken and turn up the heat to bring everything to the boil.
6) Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the pearl barley and potatoes are cooked through.
Serve hot with a chunk of bread.