Intentions to post up numerous recipes in December were quickly thwarted by that lovely time of year known as the holidays. Planning for parties, shopping for gifts, decorating, and (alas) a bad cold interrupted work schedules and free time alike. I wasn’t sick myself, but my poor husband had lingering cold. Even when he isn’t sick, he loves soup. So with the sniffles, sneezing, and coughing on the go, I did my best to keep him stocked with warm liquids. This particular Chicken Barley Soup has been on repeat for many months now.
When I first made it, my husband asked, “Where did you learn to make such good soup?” I wasn’t sure whether or not to take that as a compliment, but I did take it as a firm nod of approval. This chicken barley soup couldn’t be much easier to make either! It’s a great way to use up any vegetables you have in your fridge and a delicious way to transform leftover chicken.
Special Diet Notes: Chicken Barley Soup
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting cooking oil (depending on how many veggies you use)
- 1 to 2 medium carrots, diced (I usually use 1 medium to large carrot)
- ¼ of a medium nion, slivered or diced
- ½ cup sliced celery, about ¼-inch thick (optional – I just use if I have some on hand)
- ¼ cup pearl barley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups chicken broth (I always buy Imagine Organic brand on sale, it is our favorite)
- 6 to 8 ounces chicken, shredded or cubed (I have used leftover Cornish game hens, roasted chicken, and freshly baked boneless skinless chicken breasts)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Ground pepper, to taste (optional)
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, and celery (if using), and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onions soften.
- Add the barley and thyme, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Finally, add the broth, chicken, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to low and cover.
- Allow the soup to simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the barley reaches your desired tenderness. Usually this takes exactly 45 minutes, but a couple of times I had to allow it to simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with fresh ground pepper, if desired.