Chicken Barley Stew

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This soup is comfort food to the max. It reminds me of grown up chicken noodle soup. Sub chewy filling barley for noodles, throw in a sweet potato and kale for more grown up taste, and you get this incredible soup.

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This soup is a nutritional powerhouse that doesn’t taste like one. It’s so yummy, but really has nothing but broth, chicken and veggies which everyone can feel good about. For all you vegetarian/vegans out there this soup would still taste great sans chicken and with veggie broth instead of chicken broth.

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This soup is also a great make-ahead meal. We ate it all week and it tasted even better the next day. The barley is cooked in the soup and as it cooks it releases starch which thickens the broth and makes it super hearty and super tasty.

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What’s your favorite warm winter soup recipe!?

Chicken Barley Stew

Chicken Barley Stew

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A grown-up hearty winter chicken stew, perfect for a cold day!


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 48 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • 3/4 C regular barley
  • 4 C chopped kale
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced


  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute in 1 Tbsp Olive oil in a large soup pot until cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken breasts and allow to cool, add remaining olive oil and saute onion until soft and transluscent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add chicken broth, seasonings, salt, and bay leaves into the pot. Shred the chicken and add it back to the pot, then add barley, potatoes, and carrots.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, once boiling reduce the heat and cover. Add Kale about 1/2 hour into the simmering time. Let the soup simmer until the barley is tender (about 1 hour).



Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276

Recipe adapted from this one at Iowa Girl Eats

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