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SAPeople South African Recipes: A Savory Chicken and Barley Soup

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Savory Chicken and Barley Soup:

Savory Chicken and Barley Soup: Experience the warmth and coziness of Savory Chicken and Barley Soup, a delightful blend of tender chicken, wholesome barley, and aromatic vegetables. This comforting soup is not only easy to prepare but also packed with rich flavors, making it an ideal choice for a nourishing and satisfying meal. In this SEO-optimized recipe article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of preparing this mouthwatering Savory Chicken and Barley Soup. Whether you’re looking for a soul-soothing dish for a chilly evening or a wholesome option to feed your loved ones, this recipe is sure to become a comforting favorite in your kitchen!

Savory Chicken and Barley Soup

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Recipe: Savory Chicken and Barley Soup


  • 1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and cook until it’s no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the diced carrots and celery to the pot. Sauté the vegetables for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften.
  5. Return the cooked chicken to the pot and mix it with the sautéed vegetables.
  6. Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Add the rinsed and drained pearl barley, bay leaf, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir everything together.
  8. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the barley is tender.
  9. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  10. Once the barley is tender and the flavors have developed, remove the bay leaf from the soup.
  11. Serve the Savory Chicken and Barley Soup hot, garnished with fresh parsley for an extra burst of freshness.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat for a richer flavor.

Is there a substitute for pearl barley?

If you don’t have pearl barley, you can use farro or brown rice as alternative grains.

Can I use frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones?

While fresh vegetables are recommended for the best texture, you can use frozen vegetables if fresh is not available.

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, after sautéing the chicken and vegetables, transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Can I add other herbs to the soup?

Certainly! Feel free to add fresh thyme, parsley, or bay leaves for added aromatic flavors.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze any leftover Savory Chicken and Barley Soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I make a vegetarian version of this soup?

Absolutely! Simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to create a delicious vegetarian option.


Delight in the heartwarming flavors of Savory Chicken and Barley Soup, a cozy and nourishing bowl of comfort that combines tender chicken, wholesome barley, and aromatic vegetables. This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for any occasion, from a family gathering to a comforting meal on a chilly day. The blend of rich flavors and hearty ingredients will leave you feeling satisfied and content. So, embrace the warmth and nourishment of this delightful soup and savor every delicious spoonful. Make Savory Chicken and Barley Soup a cherished staple in your kitchen, bringing joy and comfort to every bowl!

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