It feels like January has absolutely flown by this year. It seems quite common to start January with the best of intentions to carry out new year’s resolutions, and use it as a restorative time, but realistically it’s definitely easy to fall back into pre-new year habits, as it can quickly become quite a whirlwind and fill up with all the things you were ‘leaving until the new year’, socialising and eating/drinking out.
Life gets in the way sometimes and that’s absolutely fine, and charming in its own right. We can just try our best to refocus this restorative energy going into February, and make wholesome and rewarding decisions where possible. With winter still in the air, it’s important to fuel yourself with good food and fresh flavours, and definitely some heat to balance the cold outdoors.
So, without further ado, here’s our very much tried and tested recipe for a cleansing yet hearty chicken and vegetable soup. You cannot go wrong with this meal. It’s simple and nutrient rich but it doesn’t feel like ‘diet food’, it’s a meal you can truly indulge in and be left feeling full and satisfied, without feeling heavy. Enjoy it with crusty buttered bread, or without, but mostly it feels like the most delicious form of self-care, and a great way to head into the second month of the year. February is the new January, after all.
1teaspoon olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
2white onions, chopped
3ribs of celery, chopped
5cloves garlic, finely chopped
1kg skin on, bone-in chicken breast
5l of chicken or vegetable broth
15g chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
100g dry pearl barley
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon wedges to serve with
1. Heat a large pot and add the oil, carrots, onion, celery and garlic and stir for 1 minute.
2. Add the chicken, broth, parsley, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer covered over low heat until the chicken and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot, remove the skin and shred the meat off the bone. Return the shredded chicken AND the bones (trust us on this one, it does so much for the flavour) to the pot along with the barley, add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until the barley is cooked.
4. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and fresh parsley, enjoy!