Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
A light, barley soup. . .perfect for Spring and Summer. This is a high fiber, low fat and heart healthy soup. Recipe originally from Eating Well Magazine, but switched up a bit after making! Feel free to add some salt free all purpose seasoning or Italian Seasoning in the last 5 minutes of cooking; I used Don's Flavor Enhancer With Very Low Sodium with great results. The orange peel is the secret ingredient in this recipe. . .brightens it right up!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large chicken breast, skin removed, trimmed (8-10 ounces)
- 1⁄3 cup pearl barley
- 1⁄3 cup shredded fresh spinach
- 1⁄3 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced asparagus (1/4 inch thick)
- 1⁄2 cup thawed frozen peas
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄2 cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaf
- 1 strip orange zest (1/2 by 2 inches)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add broth, chicken and barley. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
- When the barley is done, add the chicken, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes with juice, asparagus, peas, salt and a grinding of pepper; return to a simmer.
- Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
- Gather basil and orange zest and finely chop together.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.
This was very good. The garnish is what makes it shine. You could substitute other veggies for this soup, but this has a great spring flavor.
Superb soup. Really, I can't rave enough about it. Lovely combination of ingredients; especially liked the asparagus. The basil/orange to finish is quite unique and interesting. I used two skinless chicken thighs, instead of breast. Thanks for posting this; will make again.
Made as directed and love it. This is a staple soup with its protein and veggies! I think it tastes great even the next day. Thanks, JB! Made for Aussie New Zealand Recipe Swap.