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Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup

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This Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup is a hearty recipe, perfect for brisk days or when a bowl of comfort is the order of the day. Flavored with bacon and packed with healthy veggies and fiber-rich barley, this soup is so, so delicious. All made easy in the convenience of a slow cooker!

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup Recipe | 31Daily.com

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This Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup recipe is one of those soups that serves as an easy weeknight dinner, or weekend, gather-the-family meal. It’s made with simple ingredients you likely have on hand… with very little effort!

Bowl of chicken noodle soup with carrots displayed on a wooden board.

So little, in fact, it almost makes itself. Simply skillet-cook the bacon, add the onions and garlic to infuse that irresistible bacon flavor; and then add everything to the slow cooker. It will make soup magic while you’re off having fun. Or… are at work. Which can be fun too! Right?

Either way, a comforting bowl of deliciously warm and hearty soup will be waiting when you come home.

Slow cooker filled with chopped vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reheat the leftovers?

Yes, just make sure the soup has cooled completely before storing covered in the fridge for up to three days. I would not recommend freezing leftover portions, however, as the barley tends to go a bit gummy once frozen and defrosted.

Can I add any other vegetables?

Of course! Any other root vegetables can be chopped and included that would usually work in a soup like this, or that you’d usually use in a recipe for homemade stock. For example, yes to cubes of rutabaga, but parsnips may make the soup bitter when used in the slow cooker.

What should I serve with this soup?

It is hearty enough to serve by itself because of the barley, but I would not say no to a buttered slice of Brown Irish Soda Bread on the side, either!

Close up of a bowl of soup with vegetables, chicken and barley.

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Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup Recipe | 31Daily.com

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup Recipe

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup is a hearty recipe, perfect for brisk days or when a bowl of comfort is the order of the day. Flavored with bacon and packed with healthy veggies and fiber-rich barley, this soup is so, so delicious.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium-size red potatoes diced
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley rinsed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown, then add the onions and garlic.  Saute for 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Place the chicken on top of the onions. Then layer the potatoes, carrots, celery, chicken broth, barley, thyme, bay leaves, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Remove the bay leaves and discard. And then remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, add the fresh parsley and stir. Ladle into bowls and serve. Garnish with crumbled bacon, chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro) and slices or cubes of crusty bread.

Notes

Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Barley Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Soup

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