This recipe was published in The Guardian newspaper last January by Felicity Cloake. It is the perfect antidote to a cold-jaded palate.
1kg chicken wings or drumsticks or a mixture, plus any leftover chicken bones
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, 2 roughly chopped, one peeled and more finely chopped and kept separate
3 leeks, 2 roughly chopped, 1 more finely chopped and kept separate
Small bunch of parsley, separated into stalks and leaves
Sprig or two of thyme
750ml chicken stock, cold
200g barley, cooked (pearl or wholegrain)
1. Put the chicken in a large pan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off the scum from the top.
2. Add the celery, onions, the roughly chopped carrots and leeks, the parsley stalks, thyme, spices and the stock. Simmer gently for about 2 hours.
3. Strain the soup through a fine sieve – pick the meat off the bones to add to the soup if you wish. Return the soup to the pan, add the remaining finely chopped carrot and leek and cook for 10 minutes until these are soft.
4. Stir through the cooked barley, season to taste, and serve with the chopped parsley on top.
I usually add a small piece of Scotch Bonnet pepper as well – just enough to excite the tongue, not to overpower the soup.