Chicken Barley and Cabbage Soup

In the 17 years I’ve been cooking for my family, there’s only been one recipe banned from ever showing up on the dinner table again. Cabbage stew. Those two words are culinary profanity in our home.
So you should understand my hesitation when I saw a half a cabbage in the fridge and was tempted to throw it in this soup. I knew it would be a delicious addition, but was afraid of the reaction it would create. So I decided to chance it and just stay quiet about the cabbage.
“What is this in the soup? Noodles? Won tons?”
I just smiled and kept eating. Success!!!
I love this type of soup. It ends up being more of a stew due to the amount of stuff I pack in it. If you don’t have homemade stock, feel free to use canned. Mine was actually homemade turkey broth I froze after Thanksgiving!
Chicken Barley Soup
by Carole Jones
1 C pearl barley (don’t use quick barley!!!)
2 Tb canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 C chopped mushrooms
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2-3 C cooked chicken, chopped
6 C chicken stock (homemade if you can!)
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp salt (depends on how salty your stock is)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 C chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1-2 C water
1. Cook the barley according to package directions in a small saucepan, being sure to salt the water you cook the barley in.
2. Add the oil to a large soup pot heated over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle with a little salt and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms and cabbage with another bit of salt and saute until cabbage has wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock and stir. Add cooked chicken, cooked barley, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, Italian parsley and enough water to just barely cover the ingredients. Stir well, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Taste the broth and add any additional salt that is needed.
**For freezer, cool the soup completely and freeze flat in bags on a cookie sheet.


  1. says

    Correction…stock was made by your husband who lovingly picked the meat off the carcass, crushed the bones onto a baking sheet, browned them at high heat, stuffed the bones into the pan, added vegetables, and lovingly simmered it to perfection.

  2. says

    This sounds so yummy! I’m always a little intimidated by soups and stews, but I think I can handle this one :). Thanks for sharing all of your recipes, I can’t wait to try them!

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