Makes 12 1-cup servings
1 4-lb chicken
12 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 leeks, thoroughly washed, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
2 cups frozen peas
Wash the chicken and place in a large pot. Add water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and let simmer for over an hour, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and let cool. Strain broth and set aside.
Rinse and dry the same pot. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, leeks, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper, add garlic and cook another minute. Add bay leaf, broth, and barley and cook just until barley is tender, about an hour.
Meanwhile, remove meat from chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. 15 minutes before serving, add chicken and peas and warm through.
If you are making food for baby, just scoop a few cups into the food processor or blender and puree until smooth.