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Chicken Soup with Barley, Mushrooms, and Greens

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6-8

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)  

Nutritional Information

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


  • 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. 


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.


Rate or Review


  • lmjMadrid | 04/16/2015

    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.

  • GinaKnox | 09/12/2013

    best soup I've ever had!!

  • lilylady | 01/17/2012

    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.

  • Lena | 01/05/2012

    Which vinegar is it? The balsamic (as mentioned in the introduction) or the sherry (in the list of ingredients)?

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