Back to Chicken Barley Soup

Print Options


Card Sizes

Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

No question—this is my favorite soup! It's so filling that I serve it as a hearty main dish, and I have given the recipe to many of our friends and relatives. (Especially with the barley, it simply tastes too good to keep to yourself!) —Diana Costello, Marion, Kansas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Cook: 1 hour YIELD:5 servings


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (2 to 3 pounds), cut up
  • 8 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage


  • 1. In a large stockpot, cook chicken in water until tender. Cool broth and skim off fat. Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and cut meat into cubes. Return meat to pan along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables and barley are tender. Discard bay leaf. Yield: 5 servings (about 1-1/2 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

Diabetic Exchanges: One serving (prepared without bouillon and salt) equals 2-1/2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable; also, 259 calories, 127 mg sodium, 89 mg cholesterol, 22 gm carbohydrate, 31 gm protein, 5 gm fat.

Reviews for Chicken Barley Soup

Sort By :
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2016

"I came back to this recipe after making it two weeks ago. The broth really is delicious."

Reviewed Sep. 2, 2015

"This is one of the best recipes I have ever tried. This is absolutely delicious and very filling. I normally prefer the creamier soups so for this to hit a 5 star rating from me says a LOT about the quality."

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2015

"Very good and healthy soup! I used chicken breast, and instead of water used fat free chicken broth, I was out of bay leaves, so used thyme instead. Will be making this again for sure!"

Reviewed Jan. 18, 2015

"Delicious! The only thing extra that I added was 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed & 2 stalks of celery. My family loved it."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2014

"My family and I loved it. Ty for the recipe. The only thing I did was to add chicken base. Very filling. Will make many more times."

Reviewed Sep. 29, 2013

"Loved it as is. I can also think of several ways to change it up. This is definitely a keeper."

Reviewed Apr. 17, 2013

"This has been one of our family's favorite soup recipes since it was first published. We have 6 children & all of them still ask for it, some make it for themselves now! I use 3 chicken breasts instead of the whole chicken because none of us cares for the dark meat of the chicken. Other than that, I follow the recipe--excellent!"

Reviewed Mar. 6, 2013

"Good soup, although I did feel it needed more salt and chicken base."

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"Perfect soup. I had pre-cooked a chicken and a few breasts in my crock pot. I used it in this with 8 cups of low sodium chicken broth. Great recipe- thank you!"

Reviewed Oct. 21, 2012

"My family loves this soup! I have substituted turkey at thanksgiving time. Whenever I make this I generally make 2 batches right away and freeze the second."

Reviewed Sep. 18, 2012

"This soup is my ultimate favorite soup! I have used turkey (leftover from Thanksgiving) in place of the chicken and it is fantastic. Freezes well also."

Reviewed May. 12, 2012

"This was great. Loved the barley!"

Reviewed Feb. 15, 2012

"Yum! Being short on time, I used boneless chicken breast, 1 qt. chicken broth, celery seed, shaved carrot rounds, onion & garlic powder, and added one tube MSG-free chicken seasoning & made my own poultry seasoning, minus rosemary (hubby doesn't like it). Simmered concoction 30 minutes."

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2011

"My family loves this soup! I use turkey instead of chicken. Great way to use up leftover turkey."

Reviewed Jan. 8, 2011

"OMG, this is the most wonderful soup I have ever had in my life! It not only taste fabulous, the aroma is amazing. It is 15 degrees outside and what a perfect day for this excellent soup."

Reviewed Apr. 15, 2009

"This soup is fabulous! It has excellent flavor and tastes amazing. I used quick cooking barley because I couldn'tfind regular barley and it worked fine. It would guess that egg noodles would work just as well. Definitely a recipe to keep in the recipe rotation!"

Reviewed Mar. 19, 2009

"Love this easy soup-the barley makes it so comforting! It is delicious and a bonus that it is also healthy.It seems to get better as it ages in the fridge if it lasts that long."

Loading Image

Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.