Wednesday 25 September 2013

Mina's creamy chicken soup

We eased into Autumn with sun and showers, mist and fog that made the road disappear right in front of us and painted cobwebs with dew turning them to lace. Found the first conker with the same thrill I got when I was five.  Don't you just love autumn? 

It's been fun and busy. Friday, catching up with H. We had lunch here (top 7 photos above). Where she had the most ginormous pancakes with bacon and maple syrup..Seriously enough for three people, she could genuinely only eat a third. But they were the most amazing big deep pancakes that looked like English crumpets. Cavolo nero and new potato bake for me, with tons of garlic. We drank elderflower cordial...They made their own in the summer, forty gallons! Then bought some local flour with overly patriotic packaging. You should go if you get a chance...awesome atmosphere full of fun quirky vintage things and artwork...some of it's for sale. We kept finding price tags on everything, a chair or a teapot they were using...even the pictures in the loo! 

We went to London Friday and A for early birthday celebrations with brother over from Denmark. Supper of Persian rice and kababs and cake. Lots of extended family time and too many late nights. Saturday his sister made this Persian chicken with walnut and pomegranate sauce and her creamy chicken soup. Other sister and boyfriend were back from holidaying in Sicily bringing happy stories and rotund bottles of balsamic vinegar.

Sunday we met up with H for flat hunting, eight hours driving from North to South of the city...amazing peach crumble here...Three houses viewed, lots of sight seeing on the way and driving back late watching the lights come out over London's bridges....

...Only to get a call next day. Another late after work drive back to London...H had got the room in the shared house that she really wanted...with fun creative people in a cool part of London. There are great shops nearby, including awesome Greek bakery and fruit shop that even sells potted vines...we had supper here then back home after midnight...happy and bed calling loudly...

Mina's creamy chicken soup.

...we all had a quiet giggle about this soup. H's lovely sister kept telling us how low fat it is. She carefully explained how she removed all the skin from the chicken breasts and fried the vegetables in a dry pan...No oil...To make it really healthy.

But then she added a whole pint of double cream! Sounds a bit like my kind of healthy cooking.  If you aren't a cream fan I think this would work really well with coconut cream/milk too or even without either.


  • Two small or one large skinless chicken breast chopped finely or you could use minced chicken 
  • One white onion
  • One stick of celery 
  • One carrot
  • Two tablespoons of barley
  • Lots of garlic, crushed of chopped very finely
  • A little milk
  • One pint of double cream or non dairy alternative
  • Hot water or chicken stock
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Wash the barley and leave to one side to soak whilst preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Prepare the vegetables chopping very finely. 
  3. Fry the onion in a dry pan. Add the other vegetables and cook for a few minutes. 
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes making sure not to brown as this should be a creamy white colour soup. 
  5. Finally add the chicken and the drained barley. Season, remembering not to over season if using a stock cube. Let all the ingredients combine taking on the seasoning.
  6. Cover with hot water or stock. 
  7. Add a little milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the barley cooked. 
  8. Blend to a really smooth soup.
  9. If using add the double cream a few minutes before serving giving a thorough mixing and ensure that it's heated through so that the soup isn't cold. 
This is a very comforting velvety soup. Perfect for the foggy days we're having when the mist doesn't lift until lunch time...


  1. Apartment shopping sounds like fun, we will soon be at that point next summer for our daughter but we do not know where!! So nice to be with extended family and to eat out it makes the food taste better :)

    1. It's so much fun Karen, Hannah went back to London where she did her first degree so she already new the areas she would like to live. Luckily the third one was perfect and her house mates lovely. Like me, she loves to explore and always discovers nice book and coffee shops and interested places to visit. So we have a great time visiting.

      I was spoilt by no cooking for a few days...but now I really miss it and enjoying being back in the kitchen.
      Have a great weekend

  2. Hi Debby,
    Autumn is my favorite season!
    I have posted on my blog your recipe "Lemon Poppy Seed Buns"
    I hope you do not mind, I prepared them and they were delicious.
    Have a happy weekend

  3. I always think Autumn is a fun month with Halloween and we have bonfire night too.
    I'm glad you've posted the poppy seed cake...They are one of my favourites. I'm glad you enjoyed them too. I must have a go at making them again soon.
    Thank you Montse, hope you have a great weekend too.

  4. What a wonderful vision those photos represent ... so much life and atmosphere there captured. I'm happy to hear the flat-hunting mission was successful (sounds like a fabulous place).

    Autumn is my favourite time of year. :)

  5. Thanks Tracey. Hannah has got amazing house mates which is the most important thing...and it's a really nice house too. So, really successful.