A meal-in-a-bowl style soup but in no way heavy or overly-filling. I am a big fan of barley! My Scottish heritage perhaps? Yes, but also because this little grain packs a mighty nutritional punch, has a lovely nutty taste and doesnʼt occasion that bloated feeling that occurs with many wheaty grains. —Fiona Kirk
Roast the chicken in a medium oven until cooked through, allow to cool slightly then remove the skin and chop the flesh into bite-sized pieces.
Roast the cherry tomatoes in a medium oven for around 15 minutes or until they start to caramelise around the edges then remove from the oven and let them cool.
Warm the oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, 1 teaspoon sea salt crystals and a few good grindings of black pepper and saute gently over a low heat until just tender - about 10 minutes.
Add the stock and thyme, stir in the barley and split peas, bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 25-30 minutes or until the barley and split peas are tender but still have a slight ʻbiteʼ.
Check the seasoning then add the chicken flesh, the roasted tomatoes and the spinach. Stir everything very gently making sure the tomatoes donʼt break up too much then simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.