The Seitzgeist – Issue 70

Posted by in November's Magazine

Given the enthusiastic response to last month’s soup recipe, here’s another. Now that the clocks have gone back and it’s constantly DARK and cold, there’s one thing which makes me feel better: chicken. I love chicken. My fail-safe go-to dishes when I’m hacked off are roast chicken or chicken broth. I normally invent soup as I go along, but this recipe from Leon is a) divine, and b) appropriately named ‘Good Soup for a Bad Day’. It’s aromatic and comforting, substantial, but light enough for occasions when you don’t want anything too heavy.

Good Soup For A Bad Day (adapted from Leon)


  • Serves 4
  • 2 free range chicken legs, 2 thighs
  • 2 large carrots – 1 left whole, 1 finely
  • chopped
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • handful of parsley with stalks
  • 300g large mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 160g pearl barley
  • 1 heaped tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper, plus a few whole
  • peppercorns

Put the chicken into a pot with the whole carrot, celery, ½ the onion, ½ the garlic, two bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns. Cover with 1.5 litres of water, bring to a simmer, skim and turn the heat down until just steaming. Leave like this until the meat is coming away from the bone – about an hour. In a different pan, gently fry the remaining onions in the oil with the garlic (chopped), salt and pepper for half an hour until softened. Add the pearl barley, diced carrot and bay leaves, add the stock via a strainer and bring to a simmer. Put the chicken aside to cool. After an hour, get the butter to the edge of brown in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms through until golden and just coming up to crispy, chuck the tarragon in, give it a quick toss and then swirl it all into the soup. Your barley should now be tender. Pick the meat off the chicken bones, and add to the soup. Season to taste and if it’s a bit thick add a little hot water.

To Whom it may Concern
Between you and me, I’m not always very good at looking after myself. Sure – I eat properly, I clothe myself, and I try to get enough sleep. But I’m talking more about the way I treat myself, the way I allow myself to be treated by other people and the situations I find myself in. Ingrained behaviors are difficult to change. Quite often even though I know I’m in a bad situation, it can feel impossible to remove myself from it. How crazy is that? Someone recently recommended that I take better care of myself and suggested that I write a list of all the things I require to live a happy, caring and balanced life. It turns out this was some of the best advice I’ve ever received. We all know the things which make us happy, but it’s only when we write them down on paper that we realise how absent they might be from our lives. I’m talking about spending time with friends, talking a walk on your own, or just giving yourself permission to be still every once in a while. My list is pinned to my wall, where I see it everyday. Try it.

This month I’ve been mainly…

Eluded by the perfect pair of boots; putting a pretty-fabulous-nevertheless pair of boots on my credit card (c’mon, I deserve a break); forgetting to take my vitamins; wondering if I’ll get it together to exercise ever again; wondering just how many heats there are in Celebrity Masterchef; being kept sane through happy dinners with good friends old and new; looking forward to a bonfire and sparklers; toying with the idea of keeping a log of when Eastenders’ Tracy actually speaks; selling my soul; taking stress-induced naps; lying awake at night.

One response to “The Seitzgeist – Issue 70”

  1. Tam O'Banter says:

    Page 17 – I assume that this was a genuine p!ss-take?

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *