Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

It’s no secret I’m a soup-a-holic. There is nothing quite as wonderful as a bowl of piping hot soup on a cold winter’s day. Believe it or not, you can whip up a batch really fast, too. As long as you are stocked with the right ingredients. But they are easy to grab from the grocery store on the way home, as well.

There is no easier way for me to get my family (including my husband) to eat their veggies than to make soup. You can put so much in there. And preparing it with just the right amount of “crunch” makes all the difference.

Here is an easy one. I start with half of a leftover rotisserie chicken, skin removed. Of course, you can pre-cook your own chicken as well. This is just way faster.

Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Rotisserie chicken on the bone, skin removed.
  • 1-2 32 oz containers of Low Sodium Chicken Broth or Stock, depending on how much soup you want to make.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup each, chopped celery, onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, any variety. (I used white mushrooms this time.)
  • 1 Tbls. Grape Seed Oil
  • Spices. I used Dorot Frozen Cubes.
  • 1/2 cup dry Pearled Barley, prepared as directed.
  • Additional greens, optional.
  • 1 can no-salt diced tomatoes.

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken, carcass and all, into a large stock pot. Pour in 1-2 containers of Trader Joe’s Low Sodium Chicken Broth. If you can’t get Trader Joe’s brand, you can substitute   Pacific Natural Foods brand. Stay away from Swanson or Progresso brands. Their “low sodium” claims are sketchy, at best. You are better off making your own homemade chicken stock.
  2. Now, add 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Prepare some Barley. There is nothing like Barley in a pot of soup. Most work the same, but it is OK if you cook it in an abundance of water because you can just add the entire thing into the soup. The extra barley liquid will also help to thicken up the soup a little. I used 3 cups of water to 1/2 cup barley. This will take about an hour, so you want to get it started ahead of time.
  4. Cut up some veggies. If you are a mushroom fan, use them! Mushrooms make Barley soup that much better. Trust me. I also used yellow onion, carrots, celery, and zucchini. They hold up well in the soup. Last minute, I’ll add chopped spinach or kale for an extra punch!
  5. Dice them the way you like! Fine, chopped, however. I do somewhere in between. And I do LOTS. At least 1 cup of each. The key to getting the right texture is to saute your veggies first in a saute pan in about 1 Tbls. Grape Seed oil. I also added 2 cube of garlic, 2 cubes of Basil, and 2 cubes of parsley, thanks to these little beauties.I get mine at Costco or Trader Joe’s. Look for them. They will change your life.
  6. I saute the veggies just until they are tender or 8-10 minutes. Take off the heat.
  7. Now, take the chicken out of the stock. You may have to strain it, if the bones have come apart. Just remember to strain it into another container…not your sink…
  8. Replace the stock onto the stove. Add the veggies and the barley. Set heat to low.
  9. Allow chicken to cool and pull the meat off the bones.Shred it with your fingers or a fork. Add to pot
  10. Simmer about 15-20 minutes.
  11. Now, here is the kicker. Add a can of no-salt diced tomatoes. Again, I used Trader Joe’s brand, but there are many other varieties out there that are similar.
  12. Heat for 10 minutes. And then add any additional greens.
My family LOVES THIS STUFF. Leftovers are even better.
Serve with some whole wheat bread or rolls, and a side salad.
Run happy, and eat happy!

 

One Response to Chicken Barley Vegetable Soup

  1. Throw in some jalapenos and I’m in!

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