Chicken, Barley & Mushroom Soup

Chicken, Barley & Mushroom Soup

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

This healthy chicken soup recipe is chock-full of sturdy root vegetables and whole-grain barley. You can use any combination of dried and fresh mushrooms here. The soup will thicken as it sits on the stove—thin it as needed with more broth or water.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak dried shiitakes in boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the liquid. Squeeze the mushrooms to remove excess liquid, then dice.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic; cook, stirring, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, fresh shiitakes, white mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until it is no longer pink on the outside, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add broth, barley, thyme, the reserved soaking liquid and chopped soaked mushrooms. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until the barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Stir in vinegar.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 241 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 44 mcg folate; 38 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 3,147 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 401 mg sodium; 611 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (63% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ vegetable, 1½ lean protein, ½ fat, ½ starch

Reviews 6

February 14, 2019
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By: Jessica
SO disappointing. Followed the recipe to the letter and it had NO mushroom flavor. The barley totally dominates the flavor (fine, but I wanted to taste mushrooms!) Note also that the prep time is quite a bit longer than stated. Won't ever be making this again (even with adjustments) and doubt I'll try another recipe on this website.
October 18, 2018
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By: Kerry Peach
Delicious and super easy and quick to make.
October 02, 2017
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By: Heiress
I used wheat berries instead of barley - equally nutritious and delicious! Will make it again.
January 08, 2017
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By: ksheilds23
I thoroughly enjoyed this soup. It had fantastic flavor. I used Baby Bella and white button mushrooms because my local store was out of Shiitakes, but I think the flavor was still excellent. I also added some leftover rotisserie chicken along with the chicken thighs. Next time I make it I plan to add some fresh spinach or escarole. Absolutely going in my permanent recipe folder!
January 08, 2017
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By: MaxBew
Amazing! Really-really-really good. My Husband said he forgave me for making him move some furniture after one spoonful! :) Forsee this being a staple - this recipe will go into my recipe book. Made just a couple of changes ; used Baby Bella's instead of Shitakes and used Sherry and Red Wine vinegar instead of Sherry Vinegar.
October 31, 2016
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By: Genny
It's delicious, and I will definitely make it again. I'm not a barley fan, so substituted noodles, adding them for their cooking time toward the end of the total time. Got the dried shitakes, but didn't have fresh ones so subbed baby bellas. Also no sherry vinegar, so used red wine vinegar. It's all good. I'll make this with leftover turkey in a few weeks. It's a keeper!
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