Roast Chicken, Pearl Barley & Cavolo Nero Soup

Roast Chicken, Pearl Barley & Cavolo Nero Soup

Recipe by AnnabelCourse: SoupsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A winter favourite of my husband’s. A one-bowl supper.


  • 1 free-range chicken

  • 150g pearl barley, rinsed & soaked in cold water for 1 hour

  • 3 large red onions

  • 1 bulb garlic, cut in half lengthways

  • 2 sticks celery

  • 20g chives

  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 unwaxed lemon

  • 100g, cavolo nero fresh

  • 100g peas frozen

  • 3 bay leaves


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan) or gas mark 6.
  • Slice the onion into rounds and scatter them around the base of a large roasting tin along with the garlic halves, bay leaves and roughly chopped celery. Rest the chicken on the top, breast side down, and then fill the tray with a litre of cold water before putting it in to roast for 90 minutes.
  • About 10 minutes before the chicken is due to come out, you can prepare the cavalo nero by slicing it finely into long strips, and then setting it to one side. Now turn your attention to the chive oil by simply chopping the chives as finely as possible and tipping them into a serving jug filled with 50ml of olive oil.
  • Once the oven timer has pinged, take a large saucepan and rest a sieve over the top. Get the chicken out of the oven and put it to one side, then pour all of the fresh chicken stock from the roasting tin through the sieve and into the saucepan. . Add another 750ml of boiling water to the pan.
  • Rinse the sieve and then use it to swill the pearl barley in cold water before adding it to the stock pan. Let it bubble on a medium high heat for 20 minutes.
  • As the barley bubbles, shred the chicken off the bone, ready to go into the soup shortly. Have a taste of the barley, and if it’s tender, then it’s ready. Add the cavalo nero, peas and all of the chicken to the pan and let them cook through until the greens have wilted – it should take no more than 3 minutes.
  • Finally add the lemon zest and seasoning, ladle into soup bowls and drizzle with a good dose of chive oil.
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Annette Hardy
3 years ago

This sounds wonderful. Definitely going to make this. Did you make it in your Aga?

Annette Hardy
3 years ago
Reply to  Annabel

Thank you. Seems it’s a perfect recipe for Aga cooking.