Last week, when I needed it most, my Mum presented me with a container of chicken soup to take home. I had it for lunch the next day, a cold, wet, rainy day, when Mr4 was at home and my work remained undone. It was a revelation in a bowl, that soup. Fragrant lemon, hearty barley, savoury leek… Perfect for one of Those days.
I posted a little status update on Facebook claiming that it would ‘cure what ails you’, and was immediately asked for the recipe.
So here it is. The recipe is from mum’s newly purchased cookbook Winter Food, published by Penguin. I had a quick look through it while I was visiting and can assure you that it looks worth the price of admission. They should have just called it The Comfort Cookbook and been done with it. But I digress…
Barley Soup with chicken, leek and mushrooms
50g pearl barley
juice and zest of one lemon
5 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons of butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced
4 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Place barley, lemon juice and stock in a saucepan and slowly bring it to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until barley is tender. Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan and gently cook leeks and mushrooms until golden-brown. Add wine to deglaze the pan, then add the vegetables and liquid to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley, and check seasoning. Ladle soup into bowls, distributing chicken evenly.
I liked it so much, I made it for dinner on Sunday night for the Builder and I as we recovered from our big Saturday night at the hall. It hit the spot perfectly. I had a large lemon and, at Mum’s suggestion, used only half the zest. It was enough. Perfect for even those self-inflicted illnesses…
[image: this cute cloud mobile from leptitpapillon/etsy would also cheer up one of Those days.]