Hearty Chicken Soup

IMG_0635Nothing says comfort food like hot chicken soup on a cold winter day!  This hearty chicken soup recipe takes minutes to make once you have the chicken breasts cooked.  I prefer to cook my own chicken breasts in order to make my own stock by using two on-the-bone chicken breasts.  I put the breasts in a large soup pan filled with enough water to cover them, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook them for about 45 minutes.   This can be done the night before or in the morning while exercising, showering and getting ready for the day and then kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the rest of the soup that will take minutes to complete.  I use frozen chopped veggies to save time, plus I can buy a lot and they keep for months in the refrigerator.IMG_0637  Feel free to substitute other varieties of vegetables but try to go for non-starchy ones like chopped greens, broccoli, and string beans.   You can add corn, peas and potatoes but keep in mind that these are higher in carbohydrates and if not kept in proper proportion with other ingredients in the soup, they can lead to weight gain.  Barley is a wonderful grain, more dense and nuttier than rice but a better grain for really lowering the bad LDL cholesterol.   Adding lots of non-starchy veggies is a great way to fill up on fewer calories and add more vitamins, particularly vitamin K if you add the dark green leafy kind like kale, spinach and collard greens.  You can get all these frozen as well.

Ingredients For Hearty Chicken Soup

  • 2 whole chicken breasts
  • 2 cups barley
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag of frozen chopped Fiesta Blend Vegetables
  • 1 bag of chopped red and green peppers
  • 1 box frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 28 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 large sliced thin carrots
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

Put the chicken and barley into a large pot with about 10 cups of water.  Bring to a boil on the stove top, then turn down to low and let simmer for an hour.  Take the chicken out and let cool. Add the rest of the ingredients to the barley and water and let simmer until the vegetable are tender.  Pull apart the chicken and return to the pot.  Serve with my popovers or a slice of whole grain bread!  This makes about 10 servings and can be frozen for later enjoyment!

 

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