In a large pot, sauté 2 finely
chopped garlic cloves, one finely
chopped onion, 2 finely sliced
carrots, 2 finely sliced celery
sticks and 1 tbsp thyme leaves
in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive
oil until softened.
Add 180g pearl
barley and cook, stirring, for
a few minutes.
Pour in 1 litre of home-made chicken stock (or very dilute Marigold vegetable
stock), bring to the boil and then
reduce to a simmer.
Add four chicken breasts (on the bone)
and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken, set aside
and add another 500ml stock.
Simmer for another 20 minutes or
until the barley is cooked through.
Take the chicken off the bone and
shred the meat into the soup.
Season to taste, ladle into bowls
and serve sprinkled with plenty of
chopped flatleaf parsley and, if
you like, a little grated Parmesan.