How To Make Barley Soup with Chicken Meat


Embark on a journey of wholesome comfort with our hearty Barley Soup with Chicken Meat recipe. This soul-warming dish combines tender chunks of succulent chicken with nutty barley grains, simmered to perfection in a rich, flavourful broth. Packed with nutrients and brimming with taste, this soup is a testament to the harmonious marriage of ingredients. The earthy aroma of barley mingles with the savoury notes of chicken, creating a symphony of flavours that will leave you yearning for each comforting spoonful. Join us as we unveil the secrets to crafting this nourishing and satisfying masterpiece. Let’s dive into the world of Barley Soup with Chicken Meat and relish in its warm embrace!

Benefits of barley

  1. Rich Source of Fiber: Barley is abundant in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps maintain a healthy weight, and supports heart health.
  2. Regulates Blood Sugar: The soluble fiber in barley slows down the absorption of glucose, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Heart Health: Barley’s high fiber content, combined with its ability to lower cholesterol levels, contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system.
  4. Weight Management: The fiber in barley provides a feeling of fullness, which can help control appetite and promote weight loss or weight maintenance.
  5. Digestive Health: Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which contribute to regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
  6. Balances Cholesterol Levels: Beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber in barley, have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health.
  7. Nutrient-Rich: Barley is packed with essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, providing a wide array of health benefits.
  8. Provides Essential Minerals: It is a good source of important minerals such as selenium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, which play vital roles in bodily functions.
  9. Aids in Bone Health: Barley is rich in phosphorus and calcium, contributing to the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
  10. Supports Immune Function: The vitamins and minerals in barley, including vitamin C and zinc, help boost the immune system and protect against illness.
  11. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases: Regular consumption of barley has been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer.
  12. Good for Skin Health: The antioxidants in barley, such as selenium and vitamin E, help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
  13. Balances Hormones: Barley contains phytoestrogens, which may help regulate hormone levels, particularly in women.
  14. May Lower Blood Pressure: Some studies suggest that the potassium and fiber in barley can help reduce blood pressure levels.
  15. Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria: Barley acts as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria, which contributes to a healthy digestive system.

How To Make This Recipe

200g barley
300g chicken breast, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 liters chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish, optional)
Prepare the Barley:

Rinse the barley under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain well.
Sear the Chicken:

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken pieces and cook until they turn white on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
Sauté the Aromatics:

In the same pot, add the chopped onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add Garlic and Spices:

Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Stir well and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Combine Barley and Broth:

Add the rinsed barley to the pot and pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a gentle boil.
Simmer the Soup:

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 40-50 minutes, or until the barley is tender. Stir occasionally.
Add Chicken Back In:

Return the cooked chicken to the pot. Let the soup simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
Season to Taste:

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Optionally, garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of colour and freshness.

Serve the Barley Soup with Chicken Meat hot, with crusty bread on the side for a complete, hearty meal.

Tips Of Recipe

  1. Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, high-quality chicken and vegetables for the best flavour and texture.
  2. Pre-soak Barley (Optional): If you have the time, soaking the barley for a few hours or overnight can help reduce cooking time.
  3. Use Chicken Broth for Depth: Chicken broth adds richness and depth to the soup. Consider using homemade broth for the best flavour.
  4. Add Herbs Wisely: Dried thyme and rosemary are aromatic herbs that complement the earthy flavour of barley. Use them in moderation to avoid overpowering the dish.
  5. Adjust Cooking Time for Barley: Barley can vary in cooking time depending on its type and how it’s processed. Adjust cooking time accordingly to achieve your desired level of tenderness.
  6. Season Gradually: Season the soup with salt and pepper gradually, tasting as you go. This helps you achieve the perfect balance of flavours.
  7. Cut Ingredients Uniformly: Cutting the vegetables and chicken into uniform pieces ensures even cooking.
  8. Saute Aromatics First: Sautéing the onions, carrots, and celery before adding the liquid helps to develop their flavour.
  9. Simmer Gently: Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. This allows the flavours to meld and prevents overcooking.
  10. Stir Occasionally: Stirring the soup occasionally helps prevent sticking and ensures even cooking.
  11. Let Flavours Marry: Allowing the soup to sit for a while after cooking can enhance the depth of flavours.
  12. Customise with Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables like peas, spinach, or bell peppers for added colour and nutrition.
  13. Garnish for Presentation: A sprinkle of fresh parsley not only adds a pop of colour but also a burst of freshness to the finished dish.
  14. Store and Reheat Properly: Allow leftover soup to cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop.
  15. Experiment with Herbs and Spices: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices to tailor the flavour to your liking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use pearl barley instead of hulled barley? Yes, you can use pearl barley instead. Keep in mind that pearl barley cooks faster and may result in a slightly different texture.

Q2: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Certainly! Chicken thighs can be used for a richer flavour. Adjust cooking time as needed to ensure they are cooked through.

Q3: How can I make this soup vegetarian? You can substitute the chicken with plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Q4: Can I make this soup in advance? Yes, you can prepare the soup in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop.

Q5: Can I freeze this soup? Absolutely! Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Q6: How do I adjust the seasoning if I use low-sodium chicken broth? If using low-sodium broth, you may need to add a bit more salt to achieve the desired level of seasoning. Taste and adjust as needed.

Q7: Can I add extra vegetables to this soup? Yes, feel free to add extra vegetables like peas, spinach, or bell peppers for added flavour and nutrition.

Q8: What can I serve with this soup? Crusty bread, garlic bread, or a simple side salad make great accompaniments to this hearty soup.

Q9: Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried? Certainly! If using fresh herbs, you’ll need about three times the amount of dried herbs. Add them towards the end of the cooking process for the best flavour.

Q10: Can I use quick-cooking barley for this recipe? Quick-cooking barley can be used, but be aware that it cooks faster, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
    • Dietary Fiber: 6g
    • Sugars: 5g
  • Fat: 6g
    • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Potassium: 700mg
  • Vitamin A: 60% DV
  • Vitamin C: 15% DV
  • Calcium: 6% DV
  • Iron: 15% DV


  1. Crusty Bread: Serve with slices of warm, crusty bread for a satisfying and hearty meal.
  2. Garlic Butter Toast: Spread slices of bread with garlic butter, toast them until golden, and serve as a delightful side.
  3. Side Salad: Pair the soup with a simple side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast.
  4. Grated Parmesan: Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the soup for an extra layer of flavour.
  5. Lemon Wedges: Serve with lemon wedges on the side. Squeezing a little lemon juice can brighten up the flavours.
  6. Chopped Fresh Herbs: Add a handful of freshly chopped herbs like parsley, dill, or chives for a burst of freshness.
  7. Cracked Black Pepper: A sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper adds a hint of spice and complements the earthy flavours.
  8. Greek Yogurt Swirl: Top each serving with a dollop of Greek yogurt for creaminess and a tangy twist.
  9. Toasted Nuts: Add a crunch by sprinkling toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts on top of the soup.
  10. Sliced Avocado: Creamy avocado slices can be a creamy and nutritious addition to this hearty soup.
  11. A Drizzle of Olive Oil: Finish with a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a luxurious touch.
  12. Roasted Vegetables: Serve alongside a medley of roasted vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers for added texture and flavour.


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