Chicken Barley Soup
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.
- 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)
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.
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.
Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.