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Member recipe

Nourishing Chicken Soup

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Serves 6

Traditional style chicken soup, full of nutritious vegetables to help ward off colds and flu - Jewish penicillin!

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  • 1.5 - 2kg chicken
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp thyme flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


    1. Cook whole chicken in pressure cooker with 2 litres water, 1 tbsp salt and 2 bay leaves for 30 to 40 minutes at 15lb pressure.
    2. Remove chicken carefully into colander with a tray underneath to catch the drips, but reserve stock in pressure cooker. Discard bay leaves. Leave chicken until cool enough to handle.
    3. While waiting for the chicken to cool, put vegetables, barley, herbs and spices into remaining stock and pressure cook at 15lbs for 10 minutes. Stir well in case barley has clumped.
    4. Remove skin from cooled chicken and de-bone. Pull chicken meat into large shreds.
    5. Add any collected stock from drip tray to pressure cooker along with the shredded chicken. Stir well and taste for seasoning. You may need to add more water if it doesn't seem soupy enough or flavour is too concentrated, but not too much. Heat thoroughly before serving. Gets better with keeping.

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cedrichart's picture
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Thank you for this recipe. It was very much enjoyed and I will cook it again. I particularly enjoyed cooking it as it allowed me to use my pressure cooker- a much under-used piece of equipment.

princessjasmine's picture

Hello Katrina, I'd like to try your recipe but I have a couple of questions. What can I substitute a pressure cooker? Is pearl barley easy to find in supermarkets? My boyfriend is not partial to celery - can I substitute that with anything else? I hope I haven't completely ruined the recipe asking all these questions! :)