Chicken Soup with Barley & Veggies

★★★★★ 1 Review
jmas avatar
By JM Avallone
from earth, VA

Lets talk soup, I have read many recipes on this subject and find if I follow the directions normally I am disappointed because everyone's taste are not the same, so I am going to give you the basics and suggest you follow your own tastes buds, my prep & cook takes 3 days I cook on low and give it a taste now and then and adjust as I go along giving the herbs and spices time to marry with the soup. As it happens my husband and neighbor love my soup and eat it just about everyday, I will make a ton and freeze accordingly and snow is on its way so lets get souping

serves Many
cook time 6 Hr
method Stove Top


  • 3
    rotisserie chicken, deboned
  • chicken stock, no or low salt
  • carrots, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • onions, chopped
  • thyme, dried
  • pepper, fresh
  • salt
  • sage leaves, fresh & ground
  • cumin
  • marjoram, dried
  • bay leaf 1-2
  • garlic roasted
  • chiles, green canned and mild
  • sriracha, a dash
  • barley, cooked
  • olive oil
  • bouillon, better then stock
  • lemon juice fresh

How To Make

  • 1
    I know this is long winded but I did want to touch on many aspects of soup making for those of you that are not seasoned cooks or perhaps someone looking for a different way of eating soup with out the fat content. I did not put the amounts of the ingredients because it will just depend on how much soup you decide to make, I am also 60 and I try and find the easiest way to make food without hurting my body so I make things in stages this soup took me 3 days to make. I only use barley because I make so much and noodles get way to mushy I have even tried the smaller soup noodles they also soak up to much stock and will get way to soft.
  • 2
    The first day I chopped all the veggies that will go into the soup at the end, I take off all the meat and chopped up all the bones this step is very important in order to end up with the best flavored stock possible so do this and save and use the juices in the container & the skin, when chopping the larger leg bones I have found just slicing off the ends is the easiest way to deal with them. Lets talk chickens I have tried every single rotisserie chicken from wegmans, to giant food and every store in-between none compare to giant foods none. I also cooked my barley I used a full cup and about 3 cups of water and stock you can use one or the other or both. I also happend to have some sauted onions and tossed them in with the barley. I cooked it on a slow simmer even before it was done I just turn off the burner and let it sit as it is going to cook more in the soup. when cool in the fridge it goes. I also had bought a large pack of chicken thighs for another meal and took off all the skins and tossed them in the pot when cooking.
  • 3
    Second day, get a large pot toss in all your bones & skins add about 1 heaping T of each of the herbs & spices, I only add a large pinch of salt you will be adding more herbs as you will loose most if not all when you strain out the stock, chop in large chunks some 3 carrots, 3 celery, 2 onions, and a splash of olive oil & brown the ingredients. I do not always do this browning step it is really no big deal if you dont I was just trying to build another layer of flavor. After you do or dont do this add water to cover about 4 inches above the bones for this amount of chicken I used about half a gallon of water, I also had a container of stock open it was a 48 oz box but I did save some to cook the barley. I cooked this stock for at least 3 hours every now and then I would uncover it to reduce some and taste taste taste and adjust the flavor.
  • 4
    After you are satisfied with the flavor you have built turn off the heat and cool but do not cool completely as the fat will incorporate itself into the broth and you do not want this, yes fat is flavor but I hate eating fat for us what I cant skim off and the herbs I use it fine for us. So remove all the bones & veggies you can with a slotted spoon, find your biggest bowl no plastic if you can or a pot that will fit into your fridge I had to use two, place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl pour the stock in I use a ladle because I always spill it on my counter you might want to put the bowl in the sink as it will get hot be careful I use a metal bowl and it will get so hot you can not pick it up. Cool completely now you dont need to cover this when putting in the fridge as the fat will rise to the top creating a thick layer that you will remove so dont waist that plastic wrap or foil.
  • 5
    Third day, take your fat layer off if it is thick enough you can actually use your hands ( your best kitchen tool) or use a spoon, if you like fat keep it in or use it for something else you can freeze it. Pour the stock in your large pot, here I use those pre-cut carrot sticks I do how ever chop them more, add your celery, onions and more herbs and spices you will cook this a while longer so add a little at a time I start with 1/2 Tbl of most the cumin just a large pinch, a small pinch of salt this time I found my stock a bit lacking in flavor so I did add 1 Tbl of the better then stock paste. I did chiffonade some of my fresh sage, taste and adjust after half hour, I then added some rubbed sage and my roasted garlic about a heaping Tbl. you need to give your stock about 1/2 hr each time you adjust your spices. About a half hour before your done add your chopped chicken & barley then when you are happy with it cool completely, I actually cover mine and put it on the porch.
  • 6
    You will see I did add fresh and dried herbs as they both bring something different to the table of flavor, I also found adding a splash of hot sauce is awesome be careful if you use sriracha a little goes a long way I learned the hard way. As for the chilies I just happen to have a tablespoon left in my fridge so I chopped them up fine, the lemon just give a half lemon at the end it will brighten it up. When all is said and done ladle the soup into containers when chilled over night it will become almost like jello and will settle so if you ladle some out it will be the correct ratio of stock to veggies that is if you use a large container like mine this also makes it eaiser to divide into smaller containers for the freezer. Some say you can keep it froze up to 3 months well I have gone a year if I have not sucked the air out in one of those vacuum bags I will just remove the lid and run it under hot water to skim off the top layer. Ta! Da! fresh soup.
  • 7
    Lets talk about store boxed stock and bullion yes it can kick up the flavor and I do use it. I look for the ones with the least amount of salt content. I use 100% natural Swanson Chicken Stock or Broth if you cant find the no salt with this brand the stock contains 130 mg of sodium & their broth contains 860 mg so choose wisely. bouillon cubes have on average 880 Mg and better the stock bouillon contains 500 mg which is why I do not add much if at all regular salt if you do not use any bouillon do add some salt.