Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Southwestern Chicken Barley Soup

{print this recipe}

This soup is fantastic!  I love the texture the barley adds plus I'm a huge fan of anything with black beans.  Look for barley in the bulk food aisle or packaged alongside other grains.  This recipe calls for "pearl" barley (as opposed to hulled) which simply means it's slightly more processed and cooks quicker (think rolled oats compared to steel cut oats).

source: modified from

prep time: 15 min.
cook time: 1 hour, 15 min.
serves: 12

1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cups water
2 cups frozen corn
2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce*
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5oz) can chicken broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (about 2 breasts)**

  1. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender.  Add the remaining ingredients (except chicken).  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Stir in chicken.  Cook 15 minutes longer or until chicken is heated though and barley is tender.
* Most recipes call for 6oz cans so make sure you notice this calls for more!  Two or three 6oz cans would be fine in this recipe, also.
** If you bake your chicken, try adding some spices such as cumin and chili powder when baking.

Kitchen tip:
The recipe is fantastic for freezing!  Eat half and let the other half cool slightly.  Store in ziploc freezer bags, removing as much air as you can.  Lay flat for quick thawing.

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