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Spring Chicken & Barley Soup

March/April 2009

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (88 votes)

You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas.



READER'S COMMENT:
"The basil/garlic/orange mixture turned this ok soup into a delicious bowl of healthy and yummy goodness. I also browned some fresh chicken tenders... and cleaned out the veggie drawer. Happy we have some left for tomorrow. "
Spring Chicken & Barley Soup Recipe

Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, divided
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large bone-in chicken breast, (10-12 ounces), skin removed, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced asparagus, (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 strip orange zest, (1/2 by 2 inches)

Preparation

  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. Grate or finely chop 1 clove garlic; add 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.
  2. Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
  3. When the barley is done, add the chicken, tomatoes and 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.
  4. Coarsely chop the remaining garlic clove. Gather basil, orange zest and the garlic and finely chop together. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat the soup, thin with broth if desired and finish with Step 4 just before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving: 265 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 39 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 7 g fiber; 745 mg sodium; 405 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat



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Recipe Categories

Servings
4
Main Ingredient
Chicken
Preparation/ Technique
Poach
Saute
Meal/Course
Lunch
Dinner

Season
Spring
Summer
Ethnic/Regional
American
Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Publication
March/April 2009

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