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Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

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This chicken barley soup recipe is comforting and warming with rich homemade chicken stock, lots of aromatics, and mushrooms.

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How gorgeous is that bowl of soup above? This chicken soup recipe is the perfect vehicle for pearled barley. The broth is rich and comforting and it’s loaded with carrots, celery, and beech mushrooms. Though, you can use any mushroom variety you like in this meal!

The key to this chicken barley soup is the homemade stock. It’s where all the richness is, so be sure not to skip it! Of course, if you’re in a pinch for time, you can use 6 cups of store-bought stock and the meat from a rotisserie chicken.

I recommend starting the stock the night before. It’s better to let it set in the fridge overnight, though you can marathon this recipe in one day if you prefer!

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How to make this chicken barley soup recipe:

First, cook the stock. I used a whole chicken and two leg quarters because I prefer dark meat, but you can use all split chicken breasts or just one whole chicken. Use skin-on, bone-in chicken to get the most flavor and the richest stock possible!

Place the chicken in a big stockpot with roughly chopped celery (and leaves!) along with carrots. Add an onion. Tip: keep the paper on the onion for an even darker stock!

From there, add plenty of salt, a few bay leaves, a bunch of fresh parsley, and several cracks of black pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3–4 hours. Skim off any scum or foam that rises to the top. Let the pot cool and transfer to the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove the chicken from the broth and transfer it to a bowl. Strain the stock through a sieve into a big bowl and discard the solids. Pick the chicken from the bones and discard the skin and carcass. Wipe out the stockpot and return it to the stovetop.

Once your stock is ready to go, prepare the soup. Simply sauté mushrooms and then add onions, diced carrots, and diced celery. Add the spices–dry thyme, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper along with the reserved stock and chicken meat. Add the barley and then bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a hard simmer. Simmer for 30–45 minutes. If needed, supplement the soup with a bit of water or storebought stock, but you likely won’t need it!

Once the barley is al dente, turn off the heat and taste the soup, and season to your preferences. Serve it up with freshly minced parsley!

Want to make some substitutions? Here’s my handy guide:

  • Raw chicken: In a pinch for time? Use a storebought rotisserie chicken and storebought stock.
  • Carrots, celery, and onions: Use any combination of aromatics. If you don’t have celery, use more carrots! You can even add lots of freshly minced garlic or even sliced fennel.
  • Barley: Use wild rice, farro, farfalle, egg noodles, or pearl couscous. Cooking time will vary!

Looking for more comfort recipes? Check my archives!

If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!

Chicken Barley Soup_MidPage – 1@2x

Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

This chicken barley soup recipe is comforting and warming with rich homemade chicken stock, lots of aromatics, and mushrooms.
4.43 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 376kcal

Equipment

  • Large stockpot
  • Sieve

Ingredients

Chicken stock:

  • 3- pound whole chicken giblets removed and discarded
  • 2 chicken leg quarters optional
  • 5 ribs celery with leaves roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots scrubbed and cut into thirds
  • 1 onion with paper quartered
  • 3 fresh bay leaves or 2 dry bay leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley torn or cut in half
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

Chicken barley soup:

  • 1 tablespoon oil for sautéing
  • 7 ounces mushrooms of choice like beech, cremini, or shiitake, sliced or torn depending on variety
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 4 ribs celery with leaves trimmed and diced
  • 5 carrots trimmed, peeled, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh minced parsley optional, for serving

Instructions

Prepare the chicken stock:

  • Place the chicken in a big stockpot with celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, and parsley. Cover with water and season liberally with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3–4 hours. Skim off any scum or foam that rises to the top. Let the pot cool and transfer to the refrigerator overnight.

Finish the chicken stock:

  • The next day, remove the chicken from the broth and transfer it to a bowl. Strain the stock through a sieve into a big bowl and discard the solids. Pick the chicken from the bones and discard the skin and carcass. Wipe out the stockpot and return it to the stovetop.

Prepare the chicken barley soup:

  • Once your stock is ready to go, prepare the soup. Heat the neutral oil in the stockpot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 8–10 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, for an additional 8–10 minutes.
  • Add the dry thyme, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the reserved stock and chicken meat. Add the barley and then bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30–45 minutes. If needed, supplement the soup with a bit of water or storebought stock, but you likely won’t need it!

Finish the soup:

  • Once the barley is tender, turn off the heat, taste the soup, and season to your preferences.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with more freshly minced parsley, if you like. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 138mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @triedandtruerecipes or tag #triedandtruerecipes so I can feature you in my feed!

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