C is for Chicken Soup and Cheesy Flatbreads for The Kids Cook Monday

The seasons change very rapidly here. We are quickly moving from soups and stews to salads and barbecues in our meal planning but I couldn't resist trying this soup recipe when I spotted it in my favourite cooking magazine.

Chicken and barley soup

The chicken and barley soup is easy to prepare which makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. While Bee stuck to helping wash the spinach leaves and preparing the cheesy flatbreads, older children could also prep the potatoes and shred the cooked chicken.

This soup was delicious and I will definitely be adding it to our winter meal plans next year.  You could easily leave out the chicken and add some more vegies for a vegetarian meal.

Chicken and barley soup with cheesy flatbreads
Original recipe from Super Food Ideas
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed, halved, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup pearl barley
2 litres salt-reduced vegetable stock
2 potatoes, skins scrubbed, cut into 1cm pieces
4 cups baby spinach leaves (the original recipe used silver beet)
1 cup shredded skinless barbecue chicken
2 whole meal pita pockets, halved
1/2 cup grated pizza cheese

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until it starts to soften.
2. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add thyme, barley and stock. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
4. Add potato. Simmer for a further 7 minutes or until tender.

Chicken and barley soup
Bee drying the spinach leaves
5. Remove pan from heat and stir in spinach and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Meanwhile, preheat a sandwich press.

Chicken and barley soup

Chicken and barley soup

7. Fill each pita pocket half with some of the pizza cheese.  Cook in sandwich press for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is golden.
8. Transfer to a board and cut into wedges.

Chicken and barley soup
9. Serve soup with cheesy flatbreads.

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