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+ servings
one white bowl with chicken barley soup
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4.32 from 16 votes

Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

This hearty, lemon Chicken and Barley Soup recipe is a healthy one-pot soup made with a medley of fresh ingredients and vegetables such as pearl barley, garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, and more
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Non Vegetarian, Nut-free
Servings: 6
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 6 Garlic finely chopped/minced
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Leeks sliced
  • 3 Carrots diced
  • 2 Celery Sticks chopped
  • 1 cup Pearl Barley
  • Salt n Pepper
  • 8-9 cups Vegetable Stock or Low Sodium Chicken Broth or Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts or Thighs cooked and shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 3-4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dill chopped


  • Heat butter in heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, add garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil followed by sliced leeks, diced carrots and chopped celery sticks, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add pearl barley, salt and pepper, and stir.
  • Then, add vegetable stock (or chicken broth) and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer the soup for 35 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
  • Stir in the cooked and shredded chicken along with red pepper flakes (for a bit of spicy kick), lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, simmer for another 8 minutes.
  • Finally, stir in the chopped parsley and dill. Do the taste test and season with more salt, pepper ot lemon juice only if needed.
  • Pour the ladleful soup in serving bowls, garnish with some more fresh parsley and serve hot!


Optional and Swaps:
  • Quinoa, rice, or egg noodles instead of barley
  • You can add extra vegetables to this soup like green beans, peas, kale, corn, spinach, squash, and potatoes.
  • Leave the chicken out and use a vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
  • Spritz fresh lemon juice atop the soup just before serving for extra bright flavors.


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 1463mg | Potassium: 838mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6581IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg