Thursday, 7 June 2012

Stick to your ribs chicken soup for babies, toddlers and adults

Why is it I keep wanting soup?  It's June!  Maybe it's the dreary weather.  Well this soup will warm the cockles and cheer up the drizzliest of days.

Well things could not be any less dreary in the Mamacook household!  Not only have I recently been in my local paper but I was on our local radio station today talking about the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards!  The lovely Holly Bell (who you may know from the Great British Bake Off or her blog recipes from a normal mum) interviewed me about my blog and made the whole, frankly terrifying experience a lot less stressful.

Anyway, back to normality and the recipe!

Chicken soup - serves 2 adults and 1 toddler.  Would be great for babies on soft solids / finger foods as it's very thick as the pearl barley absorbs a lot of the stock.


700ml, 25floz of home made chicken stock (see below for instructions)
1 chicken stock cube (optional and depending on the strength of your stock)
200g, 7oz cooked chicken
1 carrot, finely diced
50g, 2oz pearl barley
100g, 3.5oz frozen peas


For the stock:

This is where having a slow cooker is a great thing.  Put all of the bones, skin and nasties into your slow cooker, cover with boiling water and put on high.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours.  Longer isn't necessarily a problem.  This is a great way to get the most out of a sunday roast chicken.  You will find if you only have one carcass though that the stock isn't as strongly flavoured as you might like but if you don't have 2-3 carcasses burning a hole in your fridge, the way to cheat is to use some home made stock and a stock cube.  That way you get the mouth feel and depth of flavour from the home made stock with a bit more oomf.

If you're making this for a baby, it's probably a good idea to seek out a low salt stock cube or miss it out as it can be a bit high in salt.

For the soup:

Couldn't be easier.  Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, add the pearl barley and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 45 mins then add the carrots.  Simmer for a further 10 minutes then add the chicken and peas.

Once everything is hot and cooked through, serve.

My son loved this.  He ate it with some buttered sourdough then had a really good nap despite loads of hammering and drilling going on in my kitchen.  I like to think it was the warming cuddle of a bowl of soup inside his tummy.


  1. Congratulations, my blog friend!

    1. It's been a crazy crazy day! The funny thing is I have avoided publicity generally until the past few weeks. A friend urged me to go for it though and it's been exciting, scary but liberating!

  2. Hello
    Have just discovered your blog and like it. So easy and don't need lots of ingredients you don't normally have lying around. I'm a single mum during the week and work from home too with a kitchen that needs gutting and rebuilding and a half working oven (only the top bit) but even with that I can get your stuff to work for me. Thanks.
    Oh PS Any foods, esp fingers foods for a cheese hating toddler. Am really stuck for packed lunch ideas for her to have - she loves nearly all vg incl green (broccoli, cabbages etc), pasta, potatoes, sweetcorn, but hates usual toddler stuff like cheese, tomatoes, mini pizzas, etc. She'll eat salmon, but snub prawns. She loves chapattis and wraps but no overly keen on bread unless it's good bread.
    I'm a bit stuck as all the things she likes don't really translate well to lunch boxes. Of course carrot sticks and cucumber sticks are a winner - but there's not much in the way of filling stuff.
    Sorry LONG post xx

    1. No problem! I have to admit I was thinking about doing some lunch boxes posts so now I have even more impetus!

      What about salads? You could go for pasta salads? Potato salad? Coleslaw? If she likes wraps does she like pitta bread and dips? Might sound strange but could you cook either home made or shop bought chicken nuggets or goujons and have them cold? Mini meatloaves might be pretty good cold too (normal meatloaf is).

      To avoid it being too much work for you, can you make a meal out of leftovers? I know I love puy lentil salads personally. That might sound odd but why not try it for a toddler? What's the worst that could happen? I work in a bakery so the concept of giving 'good bread' every day would be a good one for me!

      I'll have a think about other non cheesy things! Give me a couple of weeks and I'll see what I can come up with!

  3. I made this soup today - it was delicious but because I couldn't get hold of normal stock cubes used a stock pot substitute and it was way too salty, so won't use those again. But apart from that it was a really tasty recipe and will definitely make it again.

    Thank you for your response. Yes, please do some lunch box posts as she won't eat anything i make her for nursery lunch club or when at her childminders. She's too reoccupied so has to be exciting for her.

    I've done cold chicken to death, and she'll nibble at it happily but it's getting a bit boring now. Yes, she'll eat pitta and wraps, but strangely not humus. she'll eat lettuce, raw mint etc...I don't get it. I've tnever tried cold nuggets, though she can take or leave hot ones, but anything is worth a go.

    I've tried lentils on her but she doesn't like the texture. But she loves rice based dishes but I get scared about those in lunch boxes because of it being rice and it being potentially quite dodgy. Oh she loves plain yogurt too

    I'm at a loss now though. Ooh, you work in a bakery - that's great. How lovely, and also how difficult all at the same time, My sister makes bread too - she's doing a cake baking / patisserie etc course and learning the ropes of anything from making chocolate to breads. Shame she doesn't live anywhere near me ;-(

    I've never made meatloaf so should try it I guess.

    1. Yeah I'd steer clear of rice. Unless you're certain the packed lunch is going to be in the fridge it could be a bit dangerous. I'll have a think!


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