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Chicken minestrone soup with toasted pearl barley

We turned this classic chicken minestrone soup into a full nutritious meal with a helping of toasted pearl barley. Enjoy this winter favourite!

SERVES 4 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 15 min

⅓ cup pearl barley
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tsp apple-cider vinegar
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 chicken breasts
2 baby marrows, ribboned
½ tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup spinach, torn
¼ cup Parmesan, shaved, to serve

1. Heat a pan over medium heat and dry fry the pearl barley, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Set aside most of it to add to the soup. Keep 1 tbsp to sprinkle over when serving.
3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and fry for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the vinegar and stir for 1 minute.
5. Pour in chicken stock, water and tomatoes and add the bay leaf, rosemary and herbs. Bring to the boil, then add the barley (see right) and chicken.
6. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred with a fork. Return chicken to the pot, add the baby marrows and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
7. Stir in the beans and spinach, and heat through. Remove from heat and season to taste.
8. Divide soup between bowls and top with Parmesan shavings and toasted pearl barley.

Recipe & styling: Kate Turner
Photography: Samantha Pinto //

Do you know what else is a delicious pairing with chicken minestrone soup? Our gluten-free sprout bread.

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