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Chicken Barley Soup with Lots of Veggies

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Chicken Barley Soup with Lots of Veggies

The Ultimate Comfort in a Bowl

There’s a reason why chicken soup is considered the ultimate comfort food. It’s warm, soothing, and has a way of making you feel all cozy inside – kind of like a mother’s hug. And when you add hearty barley and a medley of fresh vegetables to the mix, you’ve got a soup that’s not only delicious but also incredibly nourishing.

As a lifelong lover of homemade soup, I have to say that this Chicken Barley Soup with Lots of Veggies is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the kind of recipe that reminds me of the comforting bowls my grandma used to make, with her special touch of pearl barley that added such a wonderful chewiness and texture.

Cooking Up a Flavorful Broth

The key to this soup’s deep, rich flavor starts with the homemade chicken broth. I like to use a whole fryer chicken to make the stock, as it gives the broth an incredible depth of flavor that you just can’t get from store-bought versions. Once the chicken is simmered to perfection, I pull the meat off the bones and add it back into the soup for hearty bites in every spoonful.

As the folks at Garlic & Zest suggest, I usually discard the veggies used to make the stock, as they tend to get a bit mushy after simmering for so long. But if you don’t mind a more textured broth, you can certainly puree those cooked vegetables and stir them back in for added body.

A Rainbow of Veggies

No bowl of chicken barley soup is complete without a colorful array of fresh and frozen veggies. I like to use a combination of carrots, celery, onions, peas, corn, and whatever other seasonal produce I have on hand. The key is to add them in at different stages of the cooking process so that each one retains its own unique texture and flavor.

And of course, let’s not forget the star of the show – the barley. As the folks at Healthy Home Cafe explain, I use pearl barley in this soup, which cooks up nice and chewy in the flavorful broth. If you can’t find pearl barley, you can substitute other grains like farro, quinoa, or even small pasta shapes.

A Soup for All Seasons

One of the things I love most about this Chicken Barley Soup is that it’s the perfect meal for any time of year. On a chilly winter day, it’s a heartwarming bowl of comfort that will fill you up and warm you from the inside out. But it’s also equally delicious during the spring and summer months, when you can load it up with seasonal veggies like asparagus, zucchini, or fresh herbs.

No matter when you enjoy it, this soup is sure to become a new family favorite. And the best part? It’s not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. So why not whip up a big batch and enjoy the leftovers all week long? Your taste buds (and your soul) will thank you.

Chicken Barley Soup with Lots of Veggies: The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Place the whole chicken in a large stockpot and cover with the 8 cups of water. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids.
  3. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  4. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the shredded chicken, pearl barley, peas, and corn to the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Pour in the strained chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the barley is tender.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.

This Chicken Barley Soup with Lots of Veggies is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for any time of year. With its rich, flavorful broth, tender chicken, and colorful array of veggies, it’s a meal that’s sure to nourish both your body and your soul. So why not whip up a big batch and enjoy the deliciousness over and over again? Your taste buds (and your family) will be so glad you did.

And remember, if you’re looking for even more delicious and easy-to-make recipes, be sure to check out Home Cooking Rocks – your go-to destination for all things culinary and comforting.

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