Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Pearl Barley

We love soup in our family and I am always looking to fine simple ways to make nutritious food with lots of flavour.  Initially this soup started out as a simple vegetable soup but over the years it has evolved to include the delicious flavours of ginger and garlic and the hearty addition of shredded chicken and pearl barley.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Pearl Barley

May 8, 2016

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Yields: 8


1 1/2 cup pearl barley

500g chicken breast

1 bay leaf

3 tsp. ginger, finely minced

2 tsp. garlic, finely minced

4 medium size onion, chopped into small cubes

4 stalk of celery (stalk and leaf), chopped into small cubes

3 medium carrots, chopped into small cubes

3 medium potatoes, chopped into small cubes

4 medium courgettes, chopped into small cubes

2 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. coriander powder

1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped

2 tbsp. vegetable oil






1Thoroughly wash your pearl barley and rinse. In a medium sized pressure cooker add the pearl barley and approximately four cups of water, cover the pot tightly and leave to cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.

2In a medium sized pot, preferably a caste-iron pot, add vegetable oil, bay leaf and chicken breast, season with turmeric powder, one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of black pepper; brown the chicken on high heat. Once the chicken has browned add ginger, garlic, chopped onion, chopped celery (stalk and leaf), chopped carrots, potatoes and courgettes. Sauté ingredients together on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by at least one inch, and leave the ingredients to simmer together on medium-low heat for about 30- 40 minutes.

3Once vegetable and chicken have cooked, remove the chicken breast out of the soup and shred, and return the shredded chicken back into the pot. At this time the pearl barley should have cooked, each grain should have at least doubled in size and the remaining water in the pot should have a nice wonderful thick texture. Combine the liquid and cooked pearl barley from the pressure cooker into the chicken and vegetable soup pot, season with coriander powder, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Leave to simmer for five to ten minutes.

4Serve in a beautiful bowl with a side of sliced lemon for that added tangy flavour.

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