Hearty Chicken and Barley Soup
Meat Dishes, Poultry

Chicken and Barley Soup



Chicken and Barley SoupIngredients

  • 4 to 4 1/2 lb chicken, roasted and meat removed from the bones
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 carrots, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 6 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp chopped dried basil
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • salt and pepper to taste



Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil.

Add the onion, celery and carrots, stir to coat with oil, and saute just until they begin to lose their crispness.

Add chicken broth, bay leaf, basil and parsley, and heat just to boiling.

Reduce heat to simmer, and add chicken.

Meanwhile, bring barley and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Stir barley into soup, taste for seasonings and serve.

Serves 8.

Hearty Chicken and Barley Soup

Recipe by Donnie Caves
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time





A nourishing and hearty chicken and barley soup that’s perfect for a comforting meal. Packed with tender chicken, wholesome barley, and a medley of vegetables, this soup is easy to make and incredibly satisfying.

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  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup pearl barley

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 carrots, sliced

  • 3 celery stalks, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cups spinach, chopped (optional)

  • Juice of 1 lemon (optional)


  • Prepare the Ingredients: Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, and mince the garlic.
  • Cook the Chicken: In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  • Sauté the Vegetables: In the same pot, add the diced onion, sliced carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the Barley and Broth: Add the pearl barley to the pot and stir to combine with the vegetables. Pour in the chicken broth and water, and add the dried thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the Soup: Return the chicken breasts to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Shred the Chicken: Remove the chicken breasts from the pot and shred them using two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the soup and stir to combine.
  • Optional Additions: Stir in the chopped spinach and lemon juice, if using. Let the soup simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Serve: Remove the bay leaves and ladle the soup into bowls. Serve hot.

Recipe Video


  • For added depth of flavor, you can use bone-in chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
  • This soup stores well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables like zucchini, peas, or mushrooms based on your preference

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1g
  • Total number of serves: 6
  • Calories: 250kcal
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Vitamin A: 30IU
  • Vitamin C: 15mg
  • Calcium: 4mg
  • Iron: 10mg

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