The 5-2 Challenge. Winter Warmer. Chicken and Leek Soup With Lemon and Pearl Barley.

Chicken and Leek Soup With Pearl Barley

Another 5-2 challenge fast day.  Another winter warmer. This time it’s Chicken and Leek Soup With Lemon and Pearl Barley. Made with chicken stock, poached, shredded chicken breast fillet and loads of leek to keep the calorie count down. Add a little pearl barley to give the soup  substance and structure, and lemon to brighten and freshen its flavour. A comforting and delicious bowl of sunshine. The perfect concoction to ward off  any mid winter blues.

I’m happy to say I”m back on track and this fast day on a plate was well within the restrictive 500 calorie limit. Even with a skim milk cappuccino. To be honest my saving grace was the poached chicken for lunch. I’ve taken to poaching extra portions. It stores well in a tupperware container in the fridge and can easily be sliced and shredded at a moment’s notice to be added to salads for lunch on fast days or toasted sandwiches and quesadillas on feast days. At 110 calories per 100 gram portion, a little of this filling protein hit goes a long, long way.

1 Cup Tea
100g Poached Chicken With Lettuce, Rocket and Tomato
Mid Afternoon
1 Skim Cappuccino
Chicken and Leek Soup With Barley
1 Cup Tea With 1 Teaspoon Sugar
Total Calories

Chicken and Leek Soup With Lemon and Pearl Barley

Serves 6 (220 calories per serve)

500g chicken breasts, poached and shredded (recipe here) (550 calories)
6 cups  chicken stock (120 calories)
1/3 cup pearl barley, uncooked (235 calories)
1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)
2 cups leek, white part only, finely sliced (110 calories)
1 cup carrot, finely diced (52 calories)
1 cup celery, finely diced (14 calories)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (8 calories)
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (8 calories)
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped (2 calories)

PRE-COOK pearl barley according to the instructions on the packet. 1/3 cup dry barley cooked in 3/4 cup salted water should yield  approximately 1 cup cooked barley. Drain. Set aside.
HEAT olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Sweat the leek, carrot, celery and garlic with a little sea salt until translucent.  Do not allow vegetables to brown.
ADD the bay leaf, chicken stock, lemon zest and juice.
BRING to the boil, then reduce the broth to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes until vegetables are soft. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste.
ADD poached,  shredded chicken and one cup cooked pearl barley. Stir to gently heat through.
LADLE soup into bowls. Scatter over chopped parsley and finish with a good grinding of freshly ground black pepper.

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8 Responses to The 5-2 Challenge. Winter Warmer. Chicken and Leek Soup With Lemon and Pearl Barley.

  1. That looks just lovely!

  2. Linda Duffin says:

    It seems so odd reading about a winter warmer when I’m the other side of the world and it’s our summer! Mind you, that’s an English summer, so something warming might be quite welcome ….

    • I know what you mean. After weeks of miserable weather we suddenly had a bright blue sky and 24 C. Warm enough to go surfing at Bondi Beach. In the middle of winter. Crazy isn’t it. I’ve been watching Wimbledon. Not too many rain interruptions this year…

  3. Had to leave a reply for this, after hmming and aahing over making this for about a week, i finally made it yesterday, oh…my…god…it was the best soup ever! thought the celery would be all that i tasted, but it was a mix of delicious flavor and the poached chicken (never done that before and hubby thought i’d gone mad boiling the chicken!) was so tender, thank you for putting up this recipe, a firm fave for my fast days!

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We love this soup and are looking forward to enjoying it again soon now that the temperatures are finally beginning to drop.It’s delicious and very, very good for you.

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