Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
In 'In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite' by Melissa Clark
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- cayenne, a pinch
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed well
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (or thigh)
- 5 ounces Baby Spinach
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1⁄2 cup mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- lemon wedge, for serving
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat.
- Add the onion and salt and saute until limp, about 3 minutes.
- Add all the spices and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and saute for another minute, until darkened but not burned (if the tomato paste looks too dark too quickly, lower the heat).
- Add the garlic and continue to saute for 1 minute longer.
- Return the heat to high if you lowered it, then add the broth, 2 cups water, and the barley to the pot.
- Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato and continue to cook until the barley and sweet potato are soft, about 30 minutes to an hour more, adding more water to the pot if necessary (it should not get too thick).
- Add the chicken, partially cover the pot, lower the heat to med-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cilantro to the pot and continue simmering until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes longer.
- Stir in the lemon juice and more salt if desired.
- Serve garnished cilantro and lemon wedges.