My Recipe Box

Chicken Soup with Barley, Mushrooms, and Greens


Serves 6-8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

A little sherry vinegar adds just the right amount of acid to brighten up this earthy soup.

  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 3 cups cooked-until-barely-tender barley 
  • 3/4 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. oyster mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 tsp. to 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving (optional)  
If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and 1/2 Tbs. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes. 

Stir in the reserved shredded chicken, barley, chard, and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 tsp. of the vinegar. Taste, and add more vinegar, 1 tsp. at a time, if needed, up to 2 Tbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each bowl with a 1 Tbs. of the grated cheese, if you like. 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200, Fat (kcal): 6, Fat Calories (g): 50, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 12, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 30, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 1360, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very delicious. Subbed green beans for chard and dried mushrooms for fresh because that's what I had. The sherry vinegar and Parmesan add so much balance to the flavors.

best soup I've ever had!!

Outstanding flavors! At first my husband said it was OK. Then he said it was pretty good. Finally, he said it was a keeper. Great depth of flavors in this soup. Don't skimp on the ingredients (used the full 2 T of sherry vinegar) and don't omit any to get the full taste.

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