New This Month

Chicken Barley Soup


Warm up with a bowl of soup that's brimming with healthy grains and bright vegetables.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, October 2011


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 carrots, diced small
  • 4 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups)


  1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until chicken is opaque at edges, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Cook's Notes

Quick-cooking barley has been hulled, steamed, and then dried, so it will become soft and plump in 10 minutes as it simmers in broth with chicken and aromatics.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ConnieH
    6 FEB, 2014
    OMG! This is so good! The only thing I did different was add kale instead of the spinach because that's what I had in the fridge. Super good, hardy, and my house smells incredible! This is a keeper for sure!
  • SKS
    18 NOV, 2012
    So good. The spinach makes it extra special. If you don't have barley, brown rice works great too!
  • ghostahface1
    13 SEP, 2012
    Me and my family love this soup.It is a mainstay for us.
  • ThisIsHeather
    2 FEB, 2012
    This is a very satisfying soup and a great way to use up spinach. Have made it several times.
  • MrsGalapagos
    22 OCT, 2011
    The spinach makes this soup phenomenal. I saw it last week on the show and just made my third batch today since I'm having my adult kids for dinner.
  • mischuring
    7 OCT, 2011
    loved this soup. quick and easy and fantastic flavor.
  • MissSherri
    7 OCT, 2011
    I watched them make this soup, it looked so easy I had to try. Loved it! Taste great and was easy to make.
  • divajess
    7 OCT, 2011
    Easy, delicious. I could not find quick-cook barley, so I used regular barley and cooked it separately, then added it close to the end of cooking. Next time I think I will omit the thyme.
  • dianastyles
    5 OCT, 2011
    This was a very satisfying and delicious recipe.