Spring Chicken & Barley Soup

Total Time
1hr 5mins
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!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. 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.
  4. Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
  6. 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.
  7. Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
  8. Gather basil and orange zest and finely chop together.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.
Most Helpful

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.

MoreWithLessMom March 11, 2013

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.

ratherbeswimmin' April 28, 2010

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.

mersaydees November 18, 2009