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chicken barley soup

Hearty Chicken Soup with Barley and Kale

  • Author: Heather Carey, MS
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Method: simmer


I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love this soup! Hearty Chicken Soup with Barley and Kale checks off all the boxes – it’s warming, comforting and so so good for you.


Units Scale

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 carrots, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced small
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced butternut squash (you can use frozen to save time but fresh is better)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cups cooked barley
1 small bunch of kale, stem removed and torn into small pieces


1. In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the butternut squash and sauté for another 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.

2. Add diced chicken. Cook, stirring until chicken is partially cooked, about 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.

4. Add barley and kale and cook until kale is wilted, 5 minutes more. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed and serve hot.


This soup freezes beautifully! Place in single-serving containers and store for up to three months.

Save time – you can easily save time by buying pre-grated ginger, prechopped garlic, along with frozen butternut squash.

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