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This flavorful chicken Barley Soup is a comfort food classic that is perfect for soup season. It’s quick and easy to make and full of delicious veggies.
I LOVE soup. In fact, one time I was hosting a party where soup was the main dish. I invited friends over for a “souper” party. I’m a nerd, I’m aware! But it was so much fun. Just thinking about it is reminding me that I need to do this again, pronto!
At the party, I served bread bowls from frozen dough along with several of my favorite soups including chicken tortilla soup, my copycat Olive Garden Chicken and gnocchi soup, classic chicken noodle soup, and creamy vegetable soup. I feel like soups are sometimes reserved for the colder months of the year, but I am here to tell you soups, like this chicken barley soup recipe I am sharing today, can be served year-round.
Chicken and Barley Soup
Chicken barley soup is a hearty and healthy meal. It is full of vegetables and tender juicy bites of chicken in a flavorful broth. This is the kind of meal that can feed a crowd if you are entertaining which will leave them fully satisfied.
Chicken and barley soup is a great alternative to the traditional chicken noodle soup if someone is feeling under the weather. And obviously, it is a comforting meal on chilly autumn and winter nights. But like I said earlier, chicken barley soup is good all year long.
I am a firm believer in two things food-related: you can eat ice cream in the cold months and soup in the warm months! Break the mold and make this chicken barley soup recipe tonight!
Recipe Questions Answered:
Can I put uncooked barley in soup?
The answer depends on the length of time you will be cooking the soup. If the chicken barley soup is going to be cooking for a couple of hours, then you can definitely add the uncooked barley into the soup with the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise, you would want to soak the barley for a couple of hours separately and then add it to the soup to cook for about 30 minutes.
What do you eat with barley?
Barley is a healthy grain that has a nutty flavor offering a variety of health benefits. Healthline offers a few suggestions for adding barley into your diet. You can substitute barley flakes as a breakfast meal instead of oats. It can be added to soups, like my chicken and barley soup! You can make a delicious salad with cooked barley and vegetables. One other idea is to eat it as a side dish instead of rice.
How long does it take to cook barley?
Depending on the type of barley you are cooking, it can take anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes to cook. You will know it is done when it has tripled in size and is soft and chewy.
How do you make chicken barley soup?
- To make this chicken barley soup recipe, heat oil in a large pot.
- Next, add the vegetables and cook for about 8 minutes.
- Then, add the chicken, salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Next, add the broth and herbs and bring to a boil. The next step is to stir in the barley.
- Lastly, cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for about 12 minutes. Finally, season to taste and serve the chicken and barley soup.
- If you cannot find quick-cooking barley then use regular barley and cook it as per the directions on the box in a separate pot. Add the cooked barley to the finished soup and cook until heated through about 2 minutes.
- The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- If you want to add even more nutrients to the soup, then you can add a bag of fresh baby spinach to the finished soup and cook until wilted about 2-3 minutes.
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Chicken Barley Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium celery stalks diced small
- 4 medium carrots diced small
- 1 medium yellow onion diced small
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Then, add in the celery, carrots, and onions. Cook, stirring often until the veggies are softened and the edges of the onion are beginning to brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Add the broth, thyme sprigs, and poultry seasoning and bring the soup to boil.
- Add the barley and give the soup a good stir. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the barley is tender about 10-13 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs, season the soup with salt and pepper, and serve.
This post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on October 3, 2012. I have since updated the pictures, but some of the originals are below.