chicken and spelt soup with greens

  • 1 x 1.5kg chicken, rinsed and drained
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 1 brown onion, skin on, quartered 
  • 1 leek, chopped 
  • 2 fresh bay leaves 
  • 1 head garlic, halved crossways 
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 
  • 2 litres water 
  • 1 cup (200g) spelt+ 
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped, extra 
  • 300g broccolini, florets trimmed and stalk chopped 
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper 
  • 100g green beans, trimmed and chopped 
  • 50g baby kale leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind 
  • baby (micro) lemon balm leaves, to serve
  1. Place the chicken, carrot, celery, onion, leek, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes. Strain the soup, reserving the stock and the whole chicken. 
  2. Return the stock to a clean saucepan over a high heat, add the spelt and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add the extra celery, broccolini, salt and pepper to the saucepan and cook for 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the green beans and shredded chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat and stir through the kale leaves and lemon rind. Divide the soup between bowls, top with the lemon balm and sprinkle with cracked black pepper to serve. Serves 4–6. 

+ Spelt is an ancient wheat grain that is high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s also low in gluten so is easier to digest than other grains. You can find it in health food stores and supermarkets.

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