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Spiced-Up Healthy Soup Recipe

Spiced-Up Healthy Soup Recipe

“This has been a hit with family and friends. It’s spicy, low-fat and filled with good-for-you ingredients.” Diane Tayman — Dixon, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min. YIELD:14 servings


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup medium pearl barley
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 8 cups chopped fresh spinach


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion and barley in oil until onion is tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the broth, chicken and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • 2. Add the picante sauce, garbanzo beans and cilantro to soup; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until barley and lentils are tender.
  • 3. Shred chicken with two forks. Add spinach and chicken to soup. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 156 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 601mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 7g fiber), 11g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Reviews for Spiced-Up Healthy Soup

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rwippel User ID: 4262008 100447
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2014

"This is a good, hearty soup. It's very easy to make and has a nice kick to it. I used Pace's hot picante for my soup and served it with a dollop of Greek yogurt."

raethekd User ID: 5742282 156059
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2013

"I was a little on the fence with making this soup, but was pleasantly surprised! I used medium picante sauce, but next time will use hot since we like things really spicy. I also used a mix of jalepeno and garlic grapeseed oils for a little added flavor and to make it a little healthier yet! Now to wait and see if my husband will eat it..."

astrubhar User ID: 3020188 170779
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2013

"So good!"

jaelspike User ID: 4785474 157629
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2012

"I liked all the interesting ingredients. I used leftover chicken and used medium salsa instead of picante (and that was spicy enough for us!). And served with cheddar as suggested by previous reviewer. Family didn't say wow, so we'll probably not make it again!"

howdu User ID: 1170706 78577
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2012

"This was very tasty, with a nice zip from the salsa (I used chunky medium hot). I omitted the chicken. The soup was very hearty without it. Next day leftovers were even better. We added a tablespoon of Cheddar cheese to each bowl--melted goodness. I think it would also be good to add oregano, basil, and Italian flavored tomatoes instead of the salsa to make Italian soup."

SDawsonH User ID: 4778352 170778
Reviewed Jun. 26, 2011

"I made this recipe just as written, except I did omit the chicken, because I wanted to save a little money and cook meatless. The soup was hearty and tasty. I loved all the beans and the flavor from the salsa picante was perfect! I will mark this one as a favorite."

YummyTum User ID: 5858630 98469
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2011

"This is some of the best tasting soup that I have ever had! Everytime I have made it I forgotten to add the spinach but I bet it would be awesome! Perfect to eat and perfectly healthy!"

Spinoff User ID: 2783761 156057
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2011

"This is some of the best soup I've ever eaten. I substituted deli salsa for the picante, but I plan to make it often!"

taywhitney User ID: 5639452 154513
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2010

"I added one zucchini, one yelow squash, and black beans, and I skipped the cilantro (personal choice..not a fan), and everything else I followed. This soup was JUST heaven. Seriously the best soup I have ever eaten. YUMMMMMMMY!

I'm going to try it with beef broth and a pot roast too instead of chicken to mix things up a bit."

ckesselring User ID: 2539889 169851
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2010

"Absolutely love it! A definite keeper. My daughter rates is a "homereun"."

RobbieGration User ID: 4857929 209345
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2010

"This soup is wonderful! 7 grams of fiber, wow, and as a main meal, one eats more than 1 cup per serve, so that only increases fiber content per serve. Will make again for sure!"

rayzdoc User ID: 1892104 168335
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2009

"Yummy!! Brought it to church potluck and several asked for the recipe!"

hopperhills User ID: 937161 98904
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2009

"Would you have the time to include the recipe in full?  Even though I AM a subscriber, TOH will not grant me access to recipes.  Thanks!


Angel_Food User ID: 245187 168334
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2009

"Very good. I would also add more garbanzo beans and barley."

vickiwhite User ID: 2695212 169849
Reviewed Oct. 8, 2009


jet7058 User ID: 1084768 154512
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2009

"Really easy, and was much tastier than I expected. I couldn't find picante sauce, so I substituted taco sauce. Also, I'll probably double the barley next time.

Try it topped with broken up tortilla chips...yum!"

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