Cock-a-leekie soupFasting through a season of feasts can be challenging, especially if you have visitors staying with you and are trying to be social at mealtimes. Rather than saving all my calories for one evening meal in such circumstances, I find it friendlier to serve a soup at lunchtime. I don’t have any bread with mine, but for a heartier meal for visitors, serving bread and butter alongside the soup makes for a social lunchtime meal without feeling as though you are depriving your guests of anything.

Recipe for Cock-a-leekie soup (serves 2)

Leek and carrot1 tsp butter
150g leek, sliced
150g carrot, diced
500ml stock
35g pearl barley
110g cooked chicken, diced

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Trim the roots and tops of the leek and cut it along its length into quarters, then slice widthways. Melt the butter and stir in the leeks and diced carrot, cooking for a few minutes. Stir in the stock and barley and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir in the cooked chicken and simmer for a further five minutes, until the barley is soft.

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