Chicken Barley Soup can also be made with leftover turkey, and this soup is surprisingly low in net carbs for barley soup! You can also substitute the barley for the cauliflower rice for a lower-carb, gluten-free soup.
Chicken Barley Soup that can also be made with leftover turkey is the kind of soup I like to make on the stove, as it simmers and fills the house with a pleasant aroma. This recipe is also great when you don’t have leftover chicken or turkey because you can start with a pair of chicken breasts, onions, some carrots, some celery and some barley and after a little over an hour you have a delicious soup.
Don’t be tempted to increase the amount of barley. If you don’t cook with barley a lot, you’ll be surprised by how much it increases. The barley has a pleasantly nutty flavor that I think pairs perfectly with chicken or turkey, and this soup doesn’t use a lot of barley so it’s surprisingly low in carbs! But see the tips in the recipe if you need a gluten-free or lower-carb version.
What ingredients do you need?
What is barley?
Barley is an ancient grain that is rich in fiber and flavour. It has a slightly nutty taste and chewy texture.
Is barley gluten free?
Barley is not gluten-free and should be avoided by people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
How can you make this soup lower in carbs and gluten-free?
Barley contains fiber, so if you check the net carbs, I bet chicken soup with barley is lower in carbs than you think. But if you want to make a version that’s lower in carbs and also gluten-free, just replace the barley with about 1 1/2 cups of frozen cauliflower rice.
Want more turkey soup recipes?
How to make chicken barley soup (or Turkish barley soup):
(Scroll down for the full recipe with nutritional information.)
- I cooked a chicken breast in water with a bit of chicken broth to get the chicken, but use leftover chicken or turkey if you have some.
- While the chicken is cooking, mix together the chicken or turkey broth (or homemade stock), water, vegetable broth, dried thyme, poultry seasoning, and dried parsley and let simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Chop an onion and a cup of finely chopped celery and add to a soup pot over low heat.
- Then cut the carrots into strips and add them to the soup along with half a cup of pearl barley and continue to simmer. (Don’t add the cauliflower rice yet if you’re using that)
- When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the chicken (or use 2 cups cubed leftover chicken or leftover turkey if you prefer).
- When the barley is almost tender, add the chicken or turkey (and frozen cauliflower rice, if using) and continue to cook until the barley is as tender as you like it.
- I simmered the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes in total.
- Don’t add the chicken or turkey too early or it will disappear into the soup.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve hot.
More delicious soups with chicken or turkey:
Weekend meal prep:
Chicken Barley Soup Recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend food preparation To help you find recipes you can make or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
2 or 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey (see notes)
8 cups chicken or turkey broth (see notes)
2 cups water (plus more if needed)
2 T is better than an organic vegetable base of stock (see notes)
1 tsp. Dried thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 ton of dried parsley
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup carrots, sliced or cubed
1/2 cup pearl barley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste, salt if desired
- If you don’t have leftover chicken or turkey, place 2 large chicken breasts in a small saucepan with a little water and a little vinegar. Better than roasted chicken broth (affiliate link) and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is barely cooked through.
- Let the chicken cool down, then cut it into small pieces.
- In a large saucepan, mix Chicken or turkey broth (or canned chicken broth), water, vegetable soup base, dried thyme, poultry seasoning (affiliate link), dried parsley.
- Simmer for 15 minutes while chopping vegetables and chicken.
- After 15 minutes, add the chopped onion, chopped celery, diced carrots and barley. (See notes if you want a soup that’s lower in carbs and gluten-free.)
- Begin to boil, and when the barley is almost cooked (about 45 minutes) add the chicken cubes. (Add cauliflower rice now, too, if you’re making this version.)
- You may want to add a cup or so of water if you reduce the soup too much.
- When the barley has cooked to your liking, season the soup with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste, and serve hot. (Be sure to taste before adding salt if using canned chicken broth, which can be somewhat salty.)
Nutritional information for soup made from barley.
If you are cooking chicken breasts, use 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
You can use chicken broth in a can or carton if you don’t have one Homemade chicken broth.
Better than Bouillon Organic Veggie Base (affiliate link) Optional, but recommended. For best flavor, other types of vegetable stock cubes may be used.
To make a low-carb, gluten-free version of this soup, replace the barley with 1 1/2 cups of frozen cauliflower rice.
Recipe prepared by Kalyn.
Amount per service:
Calories: 585Total fat: 32 gramsSaturated fat: 9 gramsUnsaturated fats: 0 gramsUnsaturated fats: 20 gramsCholesterol: 238 mgsodium: 840 mgcarbohydrates: 8 gramsthe basic: 2 gramssugar: 2 gramsprotein: 62 grams
Nutrition info is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I’m using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, as many variables affect these calculations.
Low Carb Diet / Low Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
You might think that barley soup isn’t suitable for low-carb diets, but this soup doesn’t use a lot of barley and barley has fiber, so this is probably lower in net carbs than you think. If you’d like to make a similar soup that’s lower in carbs and also gluten-free, see the notes in the recipe to replace the frozen cauliflower rice with barley. Chicken Barley Soup makes a great meal for a phase two or three from the original South Beach. diet. You can make the same soup with brown rice or wild rice, which would still be great for South Beach and are gluten-free, too.
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Uses Soup recipes To find more recipes like this. Use the Diet type indicator To find recipes suitable for a particular food plan. You may also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on PinterestAnd the in FacebookAnd the on instagramAnd the on TikTokor on YouTube See all the good recipes I share there.
Historical notes for this recipe:
This recipe was first published in 2006! Pictures were updated in 2012 and the recipe was recently updated with more information and the option to use cauliflower rice in 2022.
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