Southwestern Chicken Barley Soup Recipe
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Southwestern Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

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Kell Ferell of Alamo, North Dakota drives 80 miles round-trip every day for her job, so she needs quick, healthy dishes to fix for her family. "This is a huge favorite," she pens. "If I don't have leftover chicken, I simply boil or poach some chicken breasts. I use the cooking liquid to replace part of the water in the recipe to add even more flavor."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken

Nutritional Facts

187 calories: 1 cup, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 582mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 15g protein .


  1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the water, corn, beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, broth, barley, chilies, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer after 45 minutes.
  2. Stir in chicken; cook, uncovered, 15 minutes longer or until chicken is heated through and barley is tender. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).
Originally published as Southwestern Chicken Barley Soup in Country Woman September/October 2001, p40

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Reviewed Jun. 4, 2013

"Very flavorful. I cut back a bit on the seasonings and chilis as my stomach has become sensitive to Mexican flavors. I left out the beans, cut back on the corn (used frozen). All in all, an excellent recipe and worth making again!"

Reviewed Oct. 31, 2012

"This is one of our favorite soups, been making it for years. I've served it to guests with rave reviews and recipe requests. So simple too. As a matter of fact I'm making it tonight for hubby to take on a hunting trip.

I don't rinse and drain the beans; I figure there's just a little more fiber in there for us."

Reviewed Mar. 13, 2011

"I loved it. I used frozen corn and a rotesire chicken."

mother of 3
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2011

"It was zippy! Everyone in our fellowship liked this; I made a full pot and brought home one serving. However, it took me 3 hours to make it. I used frozen corn, cooked and tomatoes w/green chilies in addition to the tom. sauce and diced tomatoes. Also used chicken broth instead of the water."

Reviewed Aug. 11, 2009

"My husband and I loved it. healthy and yummy!"

Reviewed Jul. 25, 2008

"I modified this to do it in the crockpot, and it was divine! Excellent flavors and textures, and very healthy! This won raves from everyone in our houseehold!"

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