Chicken Spinach and Barley Soup
Comforting and quick, soup is the perfect dish for those looking for a lighter meal. Our Chicken Spinach and Barley Soup is not only filling, but packed to the brim with wholesome ingredients. End your fast with something satisfying and ladle yourself a bowl tonight!
- Yield: 8 servings
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Make the chicken or vegetable stock a few days in advance for faster preparation of the soup the day of.
- If a thinner soup is desired, cook the barley separately before adding it to the soup. Add the cooked barley about 5 minutes before adding the spinach to heat through.
- If you plan on freezing the soup, cook the barley separately and add the barley and spinach the day the soup is served. Cool the soup completely and portion into containers before freezing.
- 3 1/2 to 4 lbs (1589 g to 1816 g) Sargent Farms bone-in whole chicken
- 8 cups (1920 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups (209 g) white or yellow onion, diced small
- 1 1/2 cups (186 g) celery, diced small
- 1 1/2 cups (192 g) carrots, diced small
- 1 1/2 cups (195 g) red bell peppers, diced small
- 1 1/2 cup (104 g) sliced cremini mushrooms
- 3 tsp (3 pcs) garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, sliced thin and julienned
- 1 tbsp (4 g) ground coriander
- 2 tsp (2 g) dried oregano
- 2 tsp (1 g) dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp (9 g) ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp (2 g) dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp (2 g) red pepper chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup (140 g) pearl barley
- 1 1/2 tsp (9 g) salt
- 1 tsp (4 g) ground black pepper, preferably freshly ground
- 5 cups (150 g) baby spinach, packed
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, place the Sargent Farms bone-in whole chicken in the bottom of the pot.
- Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth and water to cover. Add in the bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower temperature and simmer, skimming off any foam that develops. Simmer for at least an hour or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Carefully remove chicken to a cutting board to cool. Transfer broth to another pot or large heat resistant container.
- In the same large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery, carrots, and red bell peppers. Sautee until onions are translucent and golden in colour. Add in the mushrooms and sautee until juices are released. Add the garlic and ginger and stir frequently until garlic is fragrant; about a minute.
- Add the spices (coriander, oregano, parsley, cumin, thyme, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper), stir until vegetables are fully coated and spices are fragrant.
- Add in the remaining tablespoon of oil and the rinsed barley. Lightly toast the barley in the remaining oil.
- Slowly pour in the reserved chicken broth, gently scraping the bottom of the pot of any browned bits. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the cooled chicken thighs and breasts. Cut or shred chicken. Add chicken to the pot.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then lower temperature and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes or until barley is tender, yet still chewy.
- Season the soup with the salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir in the baby spinach and apple cider vinegar. Serve immediately.