Hangover Soup


It’s no secret that there is always a couple of portions of this Persian Chicken Soup (affectionately known as Hangover Soup) in our freezer. It’s also great for a detox and, given that it’s the beginning of January, chances are I’m not alone in having a post-holiday cleanse. Although the ingredient list looks long, you’ll probably have most of them at home and it does make about six servings. Give it a try when you have a bit of time in the kitchen, you’ll thank me next time you have a big night out, a bout of flu or just need some warm, comforting food-loving.


– 3 tsp olive oil

– 4 chicken thighs on the bone

– 2 large onions, peeled and chopped

– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

– 1 tsp turmeric

– 1 cup pearl barley (uncooked)

– 1/2 cup green lentils (uncooked)

– sea salt

– black pepper

– 2 litres water

– 600 ml stock

– a handful of fresh parsley

– a handful of fresh coriander

– 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

– zest and juice of 1 small lemon


1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over a medium/high heat. Add the chicken and brown all over, then remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the rest of the oil and onions and sauté for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft.

3. Add the garlic and turmeric and fry for 1 minute. Then add the chicken, barley and lentils and season.

4. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, then add the water and stock and bring to the boil.

5. Reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred the meat from the bone (if your thighs were skinned, I’d remove it). Return the shredded meat to the pot with the fresh herbs and spinach and bring back to the boil.

7. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and ladle into bowls.


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