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Serves 2-4

There is little more nurturing when nursing a loved one than making them a bowl of chicken broth and the ritual involved could bear no stronger a symbol of love.  Quick to prepare, this broth is a great example of a nourishing, wholesome meal which can be ready in a matter of minutes. 

A good chicken broth is now known to be anti viral while its gentle effect on the immune system and airways brings instant comfort. We use watercress here for a high dose of vitamins K and D and have chosen garlic, leeks and chilli for their antiseptic properties too. Should you prefer to make this recipe gluten free, simply swap the pearl barley for nutritious quinoa or millet.


  • 1 large leek, finely sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced

  • 1 litre of chicken bone broth

  • 100g cooked pearl barley, quinoa or millet

  • 100g cooked chicken, shredded

  • Handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped

  • Juice of ½ a lemon

  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

  • 2 handfuls watercress


Healing Chicken Broth with Pearl Barley, Ginger and Watercress

To make the broth 

  1. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and sweat the finely shredded leek for 3-4 minutes until wilted but still bright green. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for another minute before pouring in the chicken bone broth.

  2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes before adding the pearl barley, shredded chicken and parsley. Bring back to the boil and simmer for a further minute to ensure the chicken and barley have heated through.

  3. Add the lemon juice, tamari and watercress leaves, stir and taste to check the seasoning, adding a little more lemon or tamari to taste if needed.

  4. Serve immediately, ladled into deep bowls.

Find more recipes in the Daylesford January e-book