Chicken Barley Soup

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Chicken Barley Soup is deliciously simple.  Tender chunks of chicken, barley and vegetables in a flavorful broth!

Serve this belly warming soup recipe with 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a side salad for a perfect meal any time of year!

Bowls of chicken barley soup with fresh herbs on top.

Chicken Barley Soup is the dish my grandma used to make. While we most frequently have Beef Barley Soup, this I do love the flavor of a rich chicken barley soup recipe as well! Carrots, celery, chicken, tomatoes, and of course barley are all simmered in chicken broth to create this comfort food classic.

I love making soup almost as much as I love eating (or slurping) it. Chicken noodle soup, split pea soup… you name it, I am there. This chicken barley soup recipe is no exception. It is so mouthwatering, and actually good for you! What’s better than guilt free comfort food? Nothing.

This easy soup recipe freezes perfectly and reheats super quickly, making it perfect for lunches or an impromptu dinner! When we make this soup, you should make sure your chicken is cooked before adding it in. It’s a great opportunity to use up leftover chicken, or to quickly make some poached chicken or rotisserie chicken in this recipe.. Easy and flavorful!

When you make chicken barley soup, make sure you don’t add the fresh herbs right away. If you add them in the beginning, they will overcook. so stirring them in right at the end of cooking is the best option.

Homemade Chicken Barley Soup! This perfect cool weather soup will warm you from the inside out! Loads of veggies, barley and chicken, you're going to want to make this over and over!

How To Cook Barley In Soup

Unless it is simmered for awhile, barley is crunchy. No one likes crunchy in their soup! This recipe uses pearl barley, which is the most common type of barley. It is a small grain, with a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor.

At the very minimum, pearl barley takes about 25 minutes of simmering on the stovetop. Barley is very hard to overcook, so don’t worry about simmering your soup for longer! We simmer this chicken barley soup for about an hour which I find is the perfect time to combine and intensify all the flavors! I think soup is the perfect fall food!  It’s easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!

Chicken barley is one of our favorites, this one is jam packed with all kinds of goodies.  The fresh herbs in this soup are optional but the fresh dill really adds something special to this dish so if it’s available I’d strongly recommend it!

As with most soup recipes, leftovers are completely delicious so this is the perfect soup to make on the weekend and pack for lunches all week!

Items You’ll Need For This Recipe

* Pearl Barley * Chicken Broth * Stockpot *


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly
Course Soup
Cuisine American
I think soup is the perfect fall food! It’s easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 stalks chopped celery sliced
  • 1 can 14.5 oz low sodium diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley

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  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion & garlic and cook until slightly softened. Add remaining ingredients except fresh herbs.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until barley is tender.
  3. Discard bay leaves and stir in fresh herbs.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 327, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 277mg, Potassium: 784mg, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 24g, Vitamin A: 115%, Vitamin C: 15.8%, Calcium: 7.7%, Iron: 17.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword chicken barley soup

More Recipes You’ll Love

*  20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup * Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup * Crock Pot Ham & Potato Soup *

Homemade Chicken Barley Soup! This perfect cool weather soup will warm you from the inside out! Loads of veggies, barley and chicken, you're going to want to make this over and over!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Curious if this soup freezes well…. If so, For how long? I followed the recipe and it made way more than 6 servings especially with me being the only “soup eater”. It was amazingly delicious though, just not for everyday until it’s gone :)

    1. I’m sorry, I am not sure how many smartpoints this recipe is. This recipe makes 6 servings so you can enter the information into WW and they will give you the points.

  2. Looks great! I love Barley soups. Do you think it can be made in a slow cooker? I know to add any dried herbs in the end but would I lower the amount of broth?

    1. I do think this would work in the slow cooker. Of course you will need to adjust the cooking time. I would add any dried herbs in the beginning and fresh herbs at the end.