Here’s a recipe for the ultimate happy-making, gut-healing family supper!

This is a classic family pleaser, that will make both your family and your gut bugs happy! It’s rich in tryptophan and has loads of healthy veg; simmering the chicken bones adds lots of lovely gut-healing collagen, too. For this recipe, you’ll need the roast chicken carcass. On the farm we always do a roast on Sunday; this is what we do with the bones on Monday.


  • 1 free-range chicken carcass (with leftover meat attached)
  • 8 carrots
  • 16 new potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 swede
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 whole black peppercorns


  1. Put the chicken carcass into a big saucepan. Add water until it’s about 5cm (2 inches) from the top of the pan. Bring the water to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer the carcass for at least two hours. The longer the better!
  2. Sieve out the bones and the meat from the broth. I do this by tipping the whole lot into a second large pan, with a colander sitting in it. The meat and bones go into the colander, while the broth percolates through to the second pan.
  3. Put the broth back onto the heat, and continue simmering. Add all the vegetables to the broth. I use those listed above, but you can try whatever your family likes. They can all be chopped quite roughly, in big pieces – this is a hearty peasant-style soup. Simmer the vegetables in the broth for about an hour.
  4. Place the meat and bones in the colander to one side, to allow the whole thing to cool down. Once the meat and bones have cooled enough to handle comfortably, pick any remaining meat off the carcass. It should now come away easily. Add the meat back into the pot 15 minutes before serving.
  5. To give the soup a traditional Welsh feel, chop up a leek and toss it in 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Season to taste with more sea salt and black pepper.
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  1. Great blog. The chicken soup sounds delicious and if you added barley you would have what is known as Jewish antibiotic – the Jewish mother’s cure for all ills. Great to get the low-down on the dopamine v serotonin facts. My husband has been looking up dopamine facts recently and, as he suffers from recurrent depression, now I know what is better for him than the biscuits etc, he feasts on. Must order some nuts for him to snack on. He likes them and caneat them. I can only manage cashew nuts and dry roast peanuts. Any other nuts just stick in my mouth and I just can’t swallow them. Looking forward to more useful and interesting facts in future blogs. Keep up the good work and love to the goats – they are so cute!

    1. Hi Vivienne – Barley has a lot of great nutritional benefits but it does contain gluten, so I don’t recommend it for my clients who are dealing with IBS or autoimmune issues. Cashews and peanuts are both high in lectins – if you’re having medical issues, I would suggest avoiding them. Thanks for the good words and so glad you’re enjoying the blog! Best, Shann

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