My hubby was out in the field all last week and came back with a wicked cold, so this past weekend was all about rest and recovery for him. All he requested was orange juice and chicken soup. Instead of making the classic Chicken Noodle Soup I wanted to make something a little more nutritious so I opted for a recipe that used barley. I love barley it’s nutty, filling, and nutrient-rich.
If you cannot find quick-cooking barley then use regular barley and cook it as per the directions on the box. Add the cooked barley to the soup the same time you add the spinach.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Chicken Barley Soup
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium carrots, diced small
4 celery stalks, diced small
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 C low-sodium chicken broth
5 sprigs thyme
1 C quick-cooking barley
5 ounces fresh baby spinach (5 cups)
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until chicken is opaque at edges, about 2 minutes.
Add broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Source: Martha Stewart