Rich and Cozy Chicken Soup with Barley and Vegetables
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
- 2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
A twist on the classic chicken noodle, barley offers fiber and protein that pasta does not! In this recipe I roast the chicken, this keeps it juicier and gives better flavor! Great for sick days or cold weather!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and rub them with a bit of olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper and place them in the oven for about 30 minutes. It is OK if they are a bit under done when they come out, the chicken will finish cooking in the soup. In a medium pot, cook the barley just as you would pasta. Drain any extra water. To make the soup: in a large soup pot, sauté the onions, carrots, celery and thyme in a bit of olive oil over low heat. Do not let the vegetables brown at all. When they are tender and fragrant (about 10 minutes), add the chicken stock and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let the soup simmer until the vegetables are cooked all the way through, about 5 more minutes. Shred or chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add them to the soup. If the chicken is NOT cooked all the way, return the soup to a boil once more before serving. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Place a scoop of barley in your bowl and top with soup. Note: when you store this soup it is important to keep the barley in a separate container and add it as you eat it. Otherwise the barley will absorb all the liquid in the soup in your fridge and it will be a soggy mess!