Southwestern Chicken & Barley Soup

Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins

I recently purchased some barley as a way to introduce new grains to my diet. Found lots of good ideas for barley on this site and came up with my own soup. Perfect fall soup with comfort from the barley and chicken with a little heat from the chilies. Since the ingredients here reflect my pantry and tastes, you should feel free to adapt it to your own. I can see using green beans instead of zucchini or thighs instead of breasts.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Saute onion, garlic, celery and green pepper in olive oil in soup pot.
  2. Once onions are soft (about 5 minutes) add water, bouillon, tomatoes, black beans and chicken to pot and bring to a low simmer.
  3. (Use chicken broth instead of water and bouillon if you prefer).
  4. Remove corn kernels from cob and add to soup.
  5. Add whole ancho chilies to pot for a minute, just to get the dried chili to soften a bit.
  6. Remove from pot.
  7. Tear off stalk and remove seeds.
  8. Dice chilies into small pieces and return to simmering pot.
  9. Let soup simmer 20 minutes and remove chicken from pot.
  10. Shred or dice chicken and return to pot.
  11. Add barley and let soup simmer for 25 minutes.
  12. Add zucchini and let simmer an additional 25 minutes.


Most Helpful

Loved this soup! I made some substitutions out of necessity (had no green pepper, so used red and had no ancho chilies, so used chili powder and cayenne), some for health reasons (used 6 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth and 1 cup water and 1 vegetable bouillion), and some for preference (added a TBLSP lime juice, chopped cilantro and shredded fat free cheddar cheese). The results were fabuluous! I even got DH to eat beans and veggies . . . quite an accomplishment. Thanks for a great recipe!

Maureenie March 02, 2009

Even though it's a little hot to be eating soup, I made this the other night to use up leftover chicken, 1/2 box of barley and some homemade chicken broth. It was really delicious and we all enjoyed it. I added about 1/2 tsp. each of cumin and Mexican oregano to boost the Southwest flavor. I'm keeping this to make again when the weather cools off. Thanks for a delicious meal.

AuntMare June 13, 2008

We are soup lovers and this recipe made for a great pot of soup. Nothing quite like a good homemade soup for a chilly day! Other then needing to use come frozen corn I made as posted with wonderful results. I served this with a loaf of grunig's Bauernbrot #183546(German Farmer Bread) Added to my keepers. Thank you for sharing.

Gerry October 24, 2006

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