Chicken, Barley, and Basil Soup – Hearty barley with chicken, mushrooms, and green beans in rich tomato broth.The weather is starting to turn. It’s not quite fall yet but the days are cooling, the nights are crisp, and the mornings most certainly are brisk as I walk my daughter to the bus stop. It doesn’t take a dip in the mercury for me want to make a soup or a stew. I eat them in the heat of summer as well as in the frozen tundra of Cache Valley winters. Maybe a slight exaggeration of our winter…slight.
Pulling out my large (read HEAVY) enameled cast iron pot and simmering meat, veggies, and herbs is pretty much fun for me. Ok, not as much fun as say, an all expenses paid shopping trip or a Depeche Mode concert, but culinarily speaking, it’s fun.
This one pot meal left all my eaters full and satisfied. Not a compliant in the group….except for Elizabeth, she hates mushrooms and shrieks like a little girl in their sight (and yes she is a little girl, but you get the image I was going for.)
Chicken, Barley and Basil Soup
- 1 lb chicken; cubed
- 8 oz mushroom; button or cremini
- 1 cup barley
- 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup onion; diced
- 2 cloves garlic; minced/grated
- 1 tbsp dried basil/3 tbsp fresh basil; chopped
- 6 oz green beans; trimmed/cut or 1 can drained
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1.5 cups broth
- 3 cups water
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt; to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large pot or French oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. If using dried basil, add now.
Add the chicken and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.
Stir in the barley, half a tablespoon of basil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, mix well. If using fresh basil, add now.
Once everything has been combined well, add the wine and deglazing the pot.
After the wine has reduced, add the green beans, canned tomatoes, broth, water, remaining basil and bring it all to a boil.
Carefully taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste.
Boil for 10 minutes then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow to cook until done. If using quick cooking barley, about 20 minutes. If using regular, long-cook barley, about 40 minutes.
Once the barley is cooked, serve and top with Parmesan cheese, if using.
So now that it’s almost fall, what’s your favorite soup or stew you are most looking forwarding to making…and eating?