Barley and Chicken Soup


Barley has many uses, one of which is to make a wonderful chicken soup. I like to use hulled barley rather than pearl barley because it has more nutrients and a nuttier flavor.

Nutritional info
per serving

Calories 410
Fat 16g
Saturated fat 2g
Carbohydrates 37g
Sodium 1,646mg
Fiber 8g
Protein 30g
Cholesterol 45mg

Barley and Chicken Soup

10 cups
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:


  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 5 TB. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (6- to 8-oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into [1/2]-in. cubes
  • 2 medium whole leeks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 TB. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • [1/2] tsp. ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, soak hulled barley in warm water for 4 hours. Drain. (You can do this in advance.)

In a large pot over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add chicken, and cook, turning chicken over to brown evenly, for 7 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot, and set aside.

In the pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add leeks, carrots, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add drained barley, salt, and chicken broth to the pot, cover, and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes or until barley is tender.

Add cooked chicken and black pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

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