Monday, January 2, 2012

Chicken Mushroom Barley Soup

I first read about this soup on one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own -  Erin, the blog author, is a cook much like me.  She likes to find a good bargain and tries to make healthy meals for her growing family. 

While the kids were home last week, I took stock of my freezer and pantry and tried to come up with some meals that could make use of what we have.  I made a list and posted it on the freezer so I can remember what I have.  When I went to Kroger on Saturday, I saw a package of mushrooms on Manager Special, so I picked them up with this soup in mind.  I knew I had a chicken carcass in the freezer and some barley in the pantry. 

I usually will make a recipe the way I find it first.  Then I try to tweak it to match my family's tastes or try to simplify it a bit.  This recipe did not need too much tweaking.  You can find the original post at

Here's the version that I served the family tonight.  It got rave reviews from all.  John said it was the perfect light but hearty dinner for a snowy day after putting away all the Christmas decorations.  It made enough for 3 leftover lunches.  We'll enjoy 2 of them tomorrow and put the 3rd serving in the freezer to pull out on a day when there's nothing else to put in his lunchbox.

Chicken Mushroom Barley Soup
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 cup celery, diced (use the inner stalks with the leaves)
1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves fresh, minced)
1 pkg mushrooms, sliced (button or baby bella)
6 cups homemade chicken broth
1 cup pearled barley
2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper or so)
1-2 cups of cooked, chopped, chicken breast

1.  Dice up all the veggies.

2.  Melt butter in large stockpot. 
3.  Saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic about 3 minutes.
4.  Add the mushrooms and saute about 3 minutes.
5.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  (I think this enhances the flavor a bit)
6.  Add in the chicken broth, dill, parsley, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
7.  Add the barley.  Stir.  Return to a boil.
8.  Simmer on low for 55 minutes.
9.  Test to see if the barley is cooked tender enough.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
10.  Add cooked chicken.  (I like to add my meat after the barley has cooked because I think it allows the meat to be more tender.  It also cooled the soup down enough that we could eat it without being too hot.)

We had this with crusty bread, tossed salad, and fluffy orange salad (recipe to come later). 

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What do you have in your freezer or pantry that could be made into a meal?

1 comment:

  1. looks yummy! I've never cooked with barley - but I may need to try this! Orange fluffy salad - hmmm, it's been awhile since we've had that....sounds good.