chicken barley soup recipe best healthy easy
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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Barley Soup

Incredibly flavorful and packed with nutrients, this wonderful Chicken Barley Soup is sure to become a family favorite!  Make double batch while you're at it because it's great for leftovers or freezing!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: All, American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion ,chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic ,minced
  • 3 large carrots ,diced
  • 2 large celery stalks ,diced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 pound bone-in chicken pieces (can also use chicken breast but bone-in pieces provide a vastly superior flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried chopped sage, 1/4 teaspoon if ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Heat the butter in a pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the barley and cook for another minute.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except for the parsley. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove the chicken, remove the meat from the bones and dice it, discard the skin and bones, and return the meat to the soup. Add the parsley. Simmer for another minute until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.


This soup tastes even better the next day. The barley will swell and soak up more liquid so you may need to add a little extra broth when reheating.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 674mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5535IU | Vitamin C: 7.5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2.2mg