Chicken Barley Soup

chicken barley soup

My family (like most families right now) has been struggling with being sick pretty much non-stop. By the time the weekend comes my son has something new to spread around the house. It makes it’s way through the family just in time for something new to catch on. But that’s ok, it’s part and parcel of having kids and having those kids hang out with other kids.

Us adults are lucky, our immunities have already built up and we don’t catch it near as much, or as bad, as the kids. Yay! But it does mean less sleep, lowered immune systems and a general groggy, I’m-feeling-old-and-may-keel-over-at-any-moment feeling. That’s when we turn to chicken noodle soup to boost our immunities again.

Or at least we used to. But recently we tried this Chicken and Barley Soup and I think this may be our go-to from now on. It’s easy, healthy and tastes so unbelievably comforting your mood can’t help but be instantly lifted. It’s easy to throw together and completely homemade, which is just what you need when you’re feeling under the weather.

And, of course, we won’t just be enjoying it when we’re sick. It’s too good to be left on the sidelines. I’m sure we’ll be making and enjoying it often throughout this fall and winter.

Hopefully it can bring some comfort to your family as well, on a cold and sniffley day.

chicken barley soup

On the day it’s made it’s much broth-ier then shown in the pictures. These were taken the day after and the barley soaked up a lot of the broth overnight. It was still just as comforting and delicious but definitely thicker and heartier. Just FYI. :)

Chicken Barley Soup
For the greatest health benefits use homemade chicken broth or stock.
Makes: 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 5 ounces (5 cups) fresh baby spinach
  1. In a large pot, cook carrots, celery and onion in oil just until tender. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken turns white on the edges. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through (10-12 minutes). Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper before serving.


Adapted from Martha Stewart.