This chicken and barley soup is delicious, wholesome and a comforting meal to stay warm during cold weather. Surprise yourself with this healthy and nutrient packed bowl of warm soup.
I love eating soups. Especially, during winter months, when the weather outside is always planning on taking revenge on us, a bowl of warm soup is the real comforter. You will agree with me if you are living in areas that experience snowfalls.
And, my love for soups inspires me to try out different recipes in my kitchen. I have shared some successful recipes in the past here for you all to enjoy. One, in particular, the healthy vegetarian barley soup is the most popular soup recipe in our blog till date. It has been shared more than 60,000 times on Pinterest. Your response and love motivate us to keep going on!
How to make chicken barley soup?
I know you are eager to know about this hearty chicken and barley soup recipe. As its name suggests, it is made using whole grain barley and chicken. I also used some celery stalks to further boost its fiber content. And personally, I feel onion, garlic, ginger and some fresh herbs (I used thyme) are a must to enhance the flavors. To make this soup, stir-fry bite sized chicken pieces in a stock pot with some seasonings like salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. We really enjoyed flavors from smoked paprika in this soup. Take out the chicken once done and then cook the remaining ingredients with chicken stock and water until the barley is nice and tender. A step by step instruction is given below.
How this chicken and barley soup is healthy?
This homemade barley soup is healthy due to all clean ingredients used in making it.
- Whole grain barley is a rich source of essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, and vitamin B. It is also rich in dietary minerals like manganese and phosphorous.
- Chicken is one of the leaner meat. It is a very good source of protein, vitamin B, and niacin. (1)
- Celery provides low-calorie dietary fiber that helps to lose weight.
Hearty Chicken and Barley Soup
- 3/4 cup barley uncooked
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken cut into bite size pieces
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 2 medium tomato chopped
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2-3 springs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2" ginger cube finely julienned
- 1 tsp smoked paprika divided
- 3 cup low sodium organic chicken stock
- 3 cup water
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a stock pot on medium to high heat. Add chicken, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika. Sauté chicken for about 5-6 min or until tender and all the water has evaporated. Take out the chicken and keep aside
- In the same pot, add minced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant for about 30 sec. Then add onion and sauté until translucent
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 min.
- Add celery, barley, chicken stock and water. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Then add fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and the remaining smoked paprika. Simmer the mixture on low heat for about 25 to 30 min.
- Add cooked chicken, adjust seasonings, if necessary and simmer for about 5 min.
- You can cook chicken breast or thigh first and then cut them into bite size pieces. However, make sure that the chicken is well done
- If you don't like ginger, you can skip it altogether
- You can also add vegetables like carrot, spinach, peppers etc. to make it even more healthy (and colorful!).
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