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Similar to the muffins I blogged about recently, I’ve noticed that I don’t really find the soups I want to eat when I go out. I like soups that are hearty, filling, and chock full of great ingredients. Most of the ones out there seem too brothy, boring, or void of interesting/filling ingredients. I’m going to work on developing more soup recipes this fall and winter so I can freeze the leftovers and have plenty of options to pull from in lieu of canned soup. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy making them, too.
This new recipe has become a recent favorite – Chicken Barley Swiss Chard Soup. The love the chewy bite of the barley with the pulled chicken and tender veggies. I added swiss chard to try to up the vegetable-to-soup ratio.
Chicken Barley Swiss Chard Soup
Forget beef and barley soup and try something a little lighter. This soup features chewy barley with shredded chicken (cook following the recipe or use rotisserie chicken) and swiss chard for a healthy ingredient boost. Two simple changes make this soup vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Cook time: 45-47 minutes
*Vegetarian & vegan if you skip the chicken and use the appropriate broth*
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (leave out for vegetarian/vegan version) or sub rotisserie chicken removed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 carrots, chopped (circles)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium/large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 box (32 ounce) chicken broth/stock (or use vegetarian/vegan broth/stock, respectively)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup pearled barley, rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bunch swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, optional, plus additional for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper (give each side a light sprinkle). When oil is ready, add chicken and cook till browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and loosely cover with an aluminum foil tent.
- Add other tablespoon olive oil to same pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add broth/stock, water, barley, bay leaves, sage, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. While the soup simmers, shred the chicken (or you can cut it into small pieces).
- Add chicken and swiss chard and cook for 10 minutes. Taste test and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, serve, garnish with additional parsley, if using, and enjoy.
Reader question: Any soup requests? Are there any soup ingredients you’d like to see in an upcoming recipe?