Starter – Ulster–Scots Summer Broth
SERVES 6 MEDIUM
1 medium free–range chicken
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
50g fresh peas
20 (or so) broad beans
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
3 small courgettes
50g baby spinach, roughly chopped
25g chives, finely chopped
25g parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
Place the chicken in a large pot of water with the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Bring to the boil.
Leave to simmer gently for 2 hours then remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan or container. Leave the chicken and stock to cool.
Once cold, remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Thinly slice all the meat, including the legs.
Cook the barley according to pack instructions and drain. Pod the broad beans and blanch, then peel the outer skins from the beans. Chop the asparagus discarding the woody base of the stem. Rinse and chop the courgettes, peel and chop the carrots, peel and finely chop the white onion.
Add a little olive oil to a hot saucepan and place in the onions and carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add the stock. Add the courgettes, asparagus, peas, cooked barley and chicken. Cook for 3–4 minutes then add the roughly chopped spinach, parsley and chives. Boil for 1–2 minutes.
Check the seasoning and serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil.