Chicken, celeriac and black barley

Soup doesn't get much more satisfying than this.

  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8
  • Print
Nourishing chicken, cavelo nero and black barley combine to create the ideal meal for cooler nights.
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  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chilli flakes (see tips)
  • 1 medium bulb garlic, broken in half
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken marylands (1.4kg)
  • 1 medium celeriac (750g), peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large onion (200g), sliced thinly
  • 2 trimmed sticks celery (200g), sliced thickly
  • 1 small fennel bulb (200g), sliced thinly
  • 2.5 litres (10 cups) chicken stock
  • ½ cup (100g) black barley, rinsed (see tips)
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero (200g), trimmed
  • ½ cup (40g) finely grated parmesan


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Line two large shallow roasting pans with baking paper.
  • 2
    Combine oregano, paprika, chilli, garlic and half the oil in a large bowl; season well. Add chicken and celeriac; mix well to coat evenly. Divide mixture between the lined pans, placing chicken skin-side up. Roast for 40 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Coarsely chop parsley stems to yield ¼ cup; refrigerate leaves. Cook onion, celery, fennel and parsley stems, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add chicken and celeriac mixture, including the roasting juices. Squeeze garlic from skins; add to pan. Discard skins.
  • 4
    Add stock to saucepan; bring to the boil. Stir in barley. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered with a tight-fitting lid, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are tender. Remove chicken from pan; stand until cool enough to handle. Break chicken into chunks; discard skin and bones. Skim fat from surface of soup. Return chicken to pan with cavolo nero. Simmer for 10 minutes; season to taste.
  • 5
    Finely chop half the reserved parsley leaves; stir into soup. Serve half the soup among four bowls; top evenly with parmesan and remaining parsley leaves. Transfer remaining soup to an airtight container; cool, then store


For less heat, reduce the chilli flakes to 1 teaspoon. Black barley is available from some health food stores, delis and gourmet food stores. You can use pearl barley instead.Refrigerate soup for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge, then reheat in a microwave. The barley will thicken the mixture on standing; add a little extra stock or water when reheating.

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