We are still experiencing windy and cold weather here today in my area of New York and even though Spring starts tomorrow night, we are expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow, which does not bring a smile to anyone’s face around here after all of the snow and cold we have had this winter. In any case,cold weather, and even early spring weather that can be chilly, is still a good time to break out the soup recipes and make something nice and warming. This particular recipe that I found at the Kitchn worked perfectly with some leftover chicken that I had. It is for chicken and barley soup and makes use of chicken, some veggies and barley to create a hearty and warming soup.
Chicken and Barley Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup pearl barley
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
Parsley, to garnish, if desired
Heat the olive oil or vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, oregano and salt. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil and herbs, then cover the pot and allow the vegetables to sweat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, water and the pearl barley to the pot. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. All the soup to simmer until the barley is cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover the pot and add the cooked chicken. Allow the chicken to warm through, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste the soup to adjust the seasonings and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper to suit your tastes. Serve the soup immediately and garnish it with parsley, if desired.
If you do not have any cooked or leftover chicken in the fridge, you can easily add some uncooked cubed chicken after you have sweat the vegetables and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. the lemon juice adds a nice touch to the soup but I found 1 tablespoon to be plenty and left it at that. I really liked the barley with this soup and it added great texture and flavor overall to make the soup a bit heartier than just your standard chicken soup or chicken and rice soup. You could always add different vegetables or other veggies if you prefer and this soup is hearty enough to stand on its own as a meal, though some nice crunchy homemade bread with it does go rather nicely. Hopefully it will be the last soup recipe of the winter for us here!
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!