1 whole small chicken or several chicken thighs and legs
2 lb leeks
1 fresh bay leaf
1 large carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
10 cups of chicken broth
½ cup pearl barley
Salt and black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley to garnish
Place chicken in a large deep pan, slice half of the leeks and place them in pan. Add the bay leaf, a little chopped parsley, carrot and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer gently for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Skim off any excess fat at the top of the pan occasionally during simmering.
Leave until slightly cooled and strain soup into another large pan. Discard all the chicken skin, bones, and vegetables. Shred all the chicken meat and add to clear stock. Set aside.
Rinse the pearl barley and cook in a separate pan of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and rinse again. Add the pearl barley to stock and chicken and cook over low heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in warm bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.