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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.
4.48 from 17 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 376kcal


  • Large stockpot
  • Sieve


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


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!


Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 138mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 6mg
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