You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat the soup, thin with broth if desired and finish by topping with basil-garlic mixture just before serving.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large bone-in chicken breast (10 to 12 ounces), skin removed, trimmed
- 1/3 cup pearl barley
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced asparagus (1/4 inch thick)
- 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
- 1 strip orange zest (1/2 x 2 inches)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Grate or finely chop 1 clove garlic; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken and barley. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
When the barley is done, add the chicken, tomatoes and juice, asparagus, peas, salt and a grinding of pepper; return to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
Coarsely chop the remaining garlic clove. Gather basil, orange zest and the garlic and finely chop together. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
265 calories; 6g total fat; 2g total saturated fat; 39mg cholesterol; 745mg sodium; 28g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 24g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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