As soon as the temperature drops and the leaves begin to fall, I pull my slow cooker out of hiding and then begin to home cook my favourite Autumn warmers. The chicken and barley soup which I turn to is a recipe handed down from my grandparent and it is the perfect comfort food.
In the slow cooker, it is simple to make and only really requires a bit of chopping and prepping then the rest makes itself. I leave mine on from the early morning until late afternoon and can get stuff done in between.
Please don't let the ingredient specifications put you off, as often things can be exchanged or weights altered and still turn out just fine. I use varying quantities each time because I'm a kind of a throw in as you cook, type of chef but the ingredients below do work out perfect!
(Around 6-8 servings)
750g chicken drumsticks
300g pearl barley
2 large onions (or 1 onion, 1 leek)
Half a tin of tomatoes (juice drained)
1 chicken stock pot
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tsp thyme
4 bay leaves
A sprinkle of pepper and gravy salt
Boiled water to cover veg and chicken (Around 2.5 - 3 litres in my slow cooker)
Add chicken drumsticks raw to the slow cooker, then cover with the boiled water. I set mine to high, which means it would take around 4-5 hours. You can cook yours longer on low if needed. Next peel and chop the carrots, wash your celery sticks and chop them too. Then chop the onions and add all of the veg to the slow cooker, including the drained tinned tomatoes.
Finally add the stock pot, herbs, extra thyme, bay leaves, pepper and gravy salt and mix them all up.
After around 3 hours on high, or 6 on low take out the chicken drumsticks. Now you will need to remove the skin and discard that. Next take all of the meat off and put it back into the slow cooker, being careful to check for any bones left in. Sometimes the ends of the chicken drumsticks can fall off, so double check! Discard all of the bones, then give the soup with the meat added back in another good stir and leave to finish off cooking.
If you feel that the soup has thickened too much at any point just add more water. I also like to hunt down and remove my 4 bay leaves at the end, just like my mama told me to. However this is not essential.
Serve with fresh bread or even better a crusty roll or baguette.
Thanks for visiting and I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as me.