Hearty Chicken Barley Soup

January 4, 2012

The end of the holiday season brings with it bittersweet emotions. Relief, on one hand, to return to the comfort of routine, yet yearning to experience the joy and companionship only gatherings bring. Well, it has taken me quite a number of days to ease back into the hum drum of life. And on these cold, January nights, when I long for coziness and comfort there's nothing like chicken soup to warm the soul. And clear never-ending runny noses.

Yes, chicken soup is the perfect prescription for a full post-festivities recuperation.

This recipe first made it's debut in my life when my mother prepared it for me post pardum. Chicken soup's inexplicable power to heal coupled with it's hearty, tender texture made it a quick favorite.

It is pleasurably easy to make, and quite open to your personal variations. My favorite part is that this soup constitutes a whole meal. Yep, grains, vegetables, and proteins are all included to obviate the need for a side dish. That gives it five stars in my book, deservedly.

So go ahead and nuzzle your noses in the steam, and breathe in the rich warmth.

To cold weather, chunky knitted socks, and yummy soups!

Enjoy winter.

(Yes, winter can be enjoyable)

Hearty Chicken Barley Soup


5-6 pieces of chicken drumsticks
2 cups barley, rinsed
1 large onion, diced
5 stalks of celery, sliced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
4-5 medium size red potatoes, skin on and sliced (chunky)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chicken consomme or 1 cup of chicken stock
1 Tbs of tumeric
salt and pepper
fresh or dried cilantro


1. Preheat a large soup pot on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let warm for another minute or two. Toss in the onion and sautee until golden in color.

2. Add the chicken drumsticks and let cook through, rotating every so often to reach all sides.

3. Throw in the carrots, celery, potatoes, and barley.

4. Add about 8-10 cups of water, and bring to a boil.

5. Season with the chicken consomme, tumeric, salt and pepper.

6. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for at least two hours so the barley becomes tender. Add cilantro and serve hot.

(This recipe can easily be doubled up and stored in the freezer. Or shared with a friend.)


  1. This seems like a great recipe for breaking the fast - nourishing but not too heavy.
    (Just a tip from a fellow blogger - please include a link to your post at the end of every post, so that we can get to your blog easily when we read them in feedburner).

  2. Hi Naomi,

    Thanks for the idea. I usually read my blogs on feedburner and just click on the title to get redirected to the blog. How would
    I put a link at the bottom? I'm curious, since I don't think I've seen it done...

  3. I make something similar but with chicken breast cutlets cut into pieces. It takes less time. I also add whatever vegetables I have on hand.sauce I put everything into the pot at once and it cooks for about 45 min. I then season it with soup powder, soy sauce and sweet chili- sauce and some red pepper flakes. If I want to thicken it, usually not necessary,I add oatmeal.

  4. i actually also put in chicken breast cutlets (for me)!

    i never thought of putting soy and sweet chili sauce in chicken soup... great idea

    thanks for sharing!!


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