Simplest Recipe to Follow yet so Tasty! Homemade Chicken Soup
Food Lite Meals

Mum’s Chicken Soup

Another super-easy and thrifty meal I like to make during the cooler months is my mother’s homemade chicken soup.  She used to make it when we were kids and I just loved how thick and comforting it was on a cold wet day.  It’s a great winter-warmer that can be adapted to suit your own tastes and whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.  It uses a handful of meat that you might have leftover from your Sunday roast chook, plus some of your homemade chicken stock (recipe here).

For the basic recipe, you need the following ingredients, but if you don’t have them, then just find a suitable substitute, and add/remove anything you like.

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • cooked chicken meat, at least a handful
  • chicken stock
  • ½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • butter
  • plain flour

This is a pretty forgiving recipe.  I don’t usually worry too much about quantities for this soup, it will mostly depend on how much stock you use.  If you use half a pot of stock, then I add the quantity of vegies written above, plus an extra one or two if there’s room.

Finely dice the onion and carrots.  Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large pot and sauté the onion and carrots for a few minutes.  Then add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and stir to make a roux.  Cook for a minute or two, then add your chicken stock and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer and add your pearl barley.  Tip:  the pearl barley will absorb some of the chicken stock as it cooks, so if you’re making a small portion of soup, you can cook the pearl barley separately.  Just pop it in a separate small saucepan, cover it with some water and simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain then add it to your soup.  I absolutely love pearl barley so usually add extra, but remember it’ll swell to about 3 times it’s original size so don’t go too crazy.

Simmer gently for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom.  Chop your potatoes into medium size chunks and add it to your soup, along with your chicken meat.  Any amount of these will be fine, depending how much room is in your pot.  Continue to simmer for another 30-45 minutes until everything is cooked through.

I like this soup to be quite thick, but if yours starts to get too thick and chunky, you can add some extra water or stock to loosen it up.  Or else just call it a stew.  Nobody will mind, it’ll still taste delicious.  Then just season as you like, and serve with beautiful bread.

With this soup you can adapt it however you like, and we encourage you to experiment.  With so many cooking shows, cooking books and cooking magazines, people are losing the confidence to just experiment with food, opting instead to closely follow a recipe.  Throw out the recipe and just give it a crack.  Soup is the best one to start with.

I’ve made this soup using leeks instead of an onion.  Omitted the carrots once as I didn’t have any.  Added peas and spinach.  Used a minuscule amount of chicken meat as we accidentally ate most of it at lunch.  Added the corn from 2 cobs as they were starting to look a tad sad in the fridge.  And on a sorrowful day, omitted the pearl barley as I had run out and forgotten to buy more.  It’s always tasty.  Just play around with it and make it your own.

Mum's Chicken Soup

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 36kcal
Author: Homebasics101

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 Carrots
  • 2-3 Potatoes
  • Cooked Chicken Meat Handful
  • Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Pearl Barley Rinsed
  • butter
  • Plain Flour

Instructions

  • This is a pretty forgiving recipe. I don’t usually worry too much about quantities for this soup, it will mostly depend on how much stock you use. If you use half a pot of stock, then I add the quantity of vegies written above, plus an extra one or two if there’s room.
  • Finely dice the onion and carrots
  • Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large pot and sauté the onion and carrots for a few minutes.
  • Then add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and stir to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two
  • then add your chicken stock and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer and add your pearl barley. Tip: the pearl barley will absorb some of the chicken stock as it cooks,
  •  Simmer gently for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. 
  • Chop your potatoes into medium size chunks and add it to your soup, along with your chicken meat.
  • Continue to simmer for another 30-45 minutes until everything is cooked through.
  • season as you like, and serve with beautiful bread.
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