The Greene home is quite happy that it finally feels like soup weather here in Southern California. With both of us working full-time, we are always on the look out for soups that can be made on a weeknight — either in a slow cooker, or in an hour or less of cook time. Using cooked chicken (we frequently grill some ahead of time on weekends, dice or shred, and freeze for dishes like this), and slicing your veggies the night before allows you to have this soup on the table in an hour. Plus it’s super healthy — low in carbs and high in protein. Barley is one of the few grains that my doctor recommends on the very low-carb diet she wants me following for my extreme diabetes. Very filling, and very tasty.
This would also be a great dish in which to substitute cooked turkey, using up those Thanksgiving and Christmas leftovers.
- 2 cups diced cooked boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 8 cups chicken stock, homemade or canned
- 1 quart water
- 1 tbsp vegetable soup base
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 onion, chopped small
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced or diced carrots
- ½ cup pearl barley
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- salt, if desired
- In a large stock pot, combine chicken stock, water, vegetable soup base, dried thyme, poultry seasoning, and dried parsley. Simmer 15 minutes while you chop veggies and chicken.
- After 15 minutes, add chopped onion, chopped celery, sliced carrots, and barley. Start to simmer, and when the barley is nearly done (about 45 minutes) add the diced chicken. You may want to add a cup or so of water if the soup reduces too much.
- When the barley is done to your liking, season the soup with fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste, and serve hot. (Be sure to taste before adding salt if using canned chicken stock, which can be rather salty.)