A Hearty Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup

I wanted to start the new year with something healthy and inexpensive as I’m sure our new year’s resolutions are similar to lots of yours – eat healthily and save money. This chicken soup recipe is healthy, cheap to make and best of all, uses leftovers! This rustic chicken soup is so reminiscent of my childhood as its one which I’ve adapted from my mum’s recipe. It’s a great way to make use of the chicken carcass following a Sunday lunch. Its surprising how much meat comes off it and the flavour is fantastic. The faff with this is worth the effort.

Rustic chicken, leek and barley soup

Ingredients (enough for 6)

  • Left over chicken carcass and any meat.
  • 3 Leeks
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • Sprig of fresh thyme & rosemary
  • 3-4 pints chicken or veg stock
  • 5 peppercorns
  • S & P to season
  • 110g pearl barley – or barley/lentil/pea soup mix (I’ve used Whitworths here)
Soaking the peas and barley mix
Boiling the stock, carcass and vegetables
Sieved cooking liquid


  • Rinse the pearl barley/ barley mix according to instructions. This can be for up to 10 hours so check before you start! Once rinsed, strain thoroughly under running cold water and then boil for 10 minutes.
  • Put the chicken carcass, 2 leeks & the carrot (all chopped into big chunks), the herbs, pepper and stock into a big pan and cover with the stock. Bring it up to the boil and then add the lid and simmer gently for 1 hr 15 mins.
  • Allow the soup to cool before removing the carcass (keep to one side) and vegetables (throw these away). Skim any fat off and then strain the liquid. Discard the bones and herbs from sieving, you only need the clear stock.
  • Return the stock to your pan and add the pearl barley. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15 mins or until the barley is tender.
  • Slice your remaining leek into thin rings and add to the soup, then season to taste.
  • Here’s the messy bit – now pick off all of the meat from the carcass – a lot of it will have dropped off already when you were boiling the carcass. Add all bits of chicken meat to the soup. The more rustic the better.
  • All that’s left is to reheat the soup and it’s ready to eat with some crusty bread!

I’m entering this chicken soup into some blog hops. The first is Feel Good Food, from Kick at the Pantry Door, a blog hop designed to bring together a collection of healthy real recipes which won’t break the bank.

The second is Whittard Healthy New Year Blogger Carnival – again, with the same intention, they are looking for lovely healthy recipes (which you’ll be able to see at the above link) and the best entries will win a selection of gorgeous tea plus a very cute Alice in Wonderland china cup.. fingers crossed for me 🙂

This is also linked up to Jo’s Kitchen #supersoup link up for Dec/ January – the theme is money saving!

Over and out!

Leave a comment

  1. 12th January 2016 / 11:16 am

    This looks delicious! I could eat a bowl now. Thank you for linking up with #SuperSoup

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