Chicken Barley Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 8
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ - ½ cup pearled barley
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • fresh herbs, to garnish (dill, parsley, green onion)
  1. Place the chicken, bay leaves, peppercorns and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, season with salt and cook until the chicken is tender and the meat is falling off the bone.
  2. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth or a paper towel. When cool enough to handle, take the meat off the bone. Set aside. You will have about 8 cups of broth and 1 cup of meat. If you have chicken broth and cooked chicken on hand, you can save some time by using it instead of starting from scratch.
  3. Rinse out the same pot that you used to cook the broth. Melt the butter (or use oil) on medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the barley, potatoes, the reserved broth and chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the barley is fully cooked.
  5. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. You can also add more or less broth or water, to adjust the thickness of the soup. Off the heat, add the fresh herbs.
This soup freezes well, so making a big batch like this one is a great idea.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at