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Chicken and Barley Soup

In this contemporary take on a classic, barley replaces noodles and a sprinkle of lemon zest and parsley brightens the broth.

  • Servings: 6
Chicken and Barley Soup

Photography: Richard Pierce

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2007


  • 10 cups water
  • 3 chicken drumsticks and 1 whole bone-in chicken breast, split, skin removed
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled (4 left whole and 4 very thinly sliced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Bring water, chicken, onion, whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme and parsley sprigs, peppercorns, carrots, and celery to a boil in a pot, skimming foam from surface as necessary. Reduce heat, and gently simmer until broth turns deep gold, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool, then skim fat from surface.

  2. Meanwhile, cook barley according to
    package instructions.

  3. Strain stock, reserving chicken breasts
    and discarding all other solids. Remove
    meat from bone, and shred into 2-inch
    pieces. Reheat stock and chicken in a
    saucepan, and stir in salt.

  4. Just before serving, finely chop remaining
    parsley with the lemon zest until
    combined. Heat oil in a skillet over
    medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic,
    and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not
    browned, about 30 seconds.

  5. Divide barley, stock, and chicken
    among 6 bowls. Garnish with sliced garlic
    and parsley-lemon mixture.

Reviews (1)

  • mmsrjs 9 Jan, 2008


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