Chicken Barley Soup

13 Dec

So we’ve had a cold snap here in LA this week and though the plastic looking local meteorologists make it seem like the end of the world is upon us, we survived by turning the heater on for a whopping 2 days in a row…only at night.

Luckily we survived this {melo}dramatic event, but it did bring out a case of the sniffles for my husband, so I made our favorite soup.

To be honest, I feel guilty saying that because my grandmother’s chicken soup should be my favorite…and don’t get me wrong…I really like it…but I actually like this better.  And so does my neighbor…customers…friends…let’s just say it’s popular.

{Gina’s Take}

This is a simple and hearty soup and if you like leftovers, it freezes like champ.

I got lucky this week in that I negotiated with my husband on the chopping – if he chopped the night before, soup would be on the stove when he got home from work the next day.

Since the chopping duties were covered, I just had to handle the cooking – and the best part is it can all be done in one pot.

I cook the 2 cups of pearled barley in a giant soup pot, and when done, pour through a strainer and rinse.

Then using that same pot, in goes the veggies, wine, seasonings…then add the cooked barley back in along with the chicken…garnish and serve.

The barley will continue to absorb the broth, so if you like your soup a little thinner, add a bit more.  The recipe is pretty foolproof and with minimal dish washing, makes this girl happy!

{Pretty Little Tip}

IMG_2381_yumHave extra mason jars on hand?  Once the soup cools and can be handled, fill them about 2/3 of the way full and freeze the leftover soup.   You can always pull out a jar and defrost next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather.  Careful not to overfill…the liquid will expand and crack the jars…{learned that the hard way!}

PS: this week’s turquoise bowls…courtesy of my friend Toni…check out her esty shop this holiday season!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chicken Barley Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups uncooked pearled barley
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, quartered lengthwise & finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅔ cup dry white wine or sweet marsala wine
  • 10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 large chicken breasts (~2lbs), cubed
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  1. Cook barley, as directed, drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a very large soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic & onion, stirring until fragrant, but not browned.
  3. Add celery, carrots, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, & pepper to the pot and cook until mushrooms release their juices and veggies start to soften.
  4. Add wine, bringing pot to a boil, and reduce until wine is almost evaporated.
  5. Add broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer until veggies are soft (about 6-7 minutes).
  7. Bring pot back up to a boil and stir in barley & chicken.
  8. Cook until chicken is done - about 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with scallions

*adapted from Fitness Magazine’s September 2012 issue, page 151

4 Responses to “Chicken Barley Soup”

  1. Marie Mbouni December 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Soo warming, it was really “freezing” here in LA so this was perfect!

  2. Virginia Mabry December 18, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    I also made this soup because of the cold snap we had here in Jacksonville, Florida. It cured my cold instantly! I feel so much better today. I like to put Tabasco sauce in my soup bowl for a little spicy kick.

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