So, what could I do with it? Well, my life loves pepper soup, so I decided to make a mix of African and British, producing a Scottish-style cock soup (with pearl barley) whilst adding lentils and flavouring with herbs from the garden.
Of course, you do not need to add the chillies, they are completely optional.
You can also use the first half of this recipe to make a very flavoursome chicken stock.
Chicken Soup with Pearl Barley and Lentils RecipeServes 4
For the Chicken Stock Base:
1 chicken carcass
1 onion, halved lengthways
2 garlic cloves, halved lengthways
1 carrot, halved
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 sprigs of mint
4 sprigs of winter savory
2 sprigs of sage
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
For the Soup:
chicken stock, as above
handful of pearl barley, washed
handful of red lentils, washed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
4 hot chillies kept whole (I used chocolate Habaneros), this is optional
Garlic bread, to serve
Begin with the chicken stock base. Break the chicken carcass into pieces and put in a stockpot. Add all the other ingredients (except the salt and black pepper). Bring to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook gently for about 3 hours. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
When reduced to just warm, strain the stock into a bowl. Allow to cool then skim off any fat from the surface and make up to 1.5l.
For the soup:
Pour the chicken stock into a pan, add the pearl barley, red lentils, garlic, carrots and chillies. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside. I prefer to keep it over night as it will thicken and taste better the following day. If you do not like it fiery, remove the whole chillies at this point.
When ready to serve, bring the soup mix to a boil, reduced to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Ladle into warmed soup bowls (ensure each person gets a chilli) and serve accompanied by warm garlic bread.
For pepper soup, mash the chilli into the soup mix as you eat. If you like your soup spicy, but not fiery hot take the chilli out before you eat.
A truly hearty and delicious soup made for just pennies.
Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.
Update: the Scottish Recipes book is now available:
Over 500 other traditional Scottish recipes have been collected together and are now to be found in my new eBook: Classic Scottish Recipes, which can be purchased via Amazon using the link on the left.
The book also contains information on Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) and Burns Night, including the full order of service for a Burns Supper. In addition there are cocktail recipes for Hogmanay and extra recipes for Hogmanay so that you can host a classic dinner or party.
The most comprehensive collection of Scottish recipes available anywhere!