Yummy Chicken Barley Soup



This is one of my family’s favorite soups!!!  The barley adds an amazing amount of fiber and the squash, carrots, celery and onions are loaded with vitamins. You can replace the chicken with turkey, if desired.  One cup has just 142 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. It’s so low in fat and calories, you can serve it as a main course soup with 2 hearty cups!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


1 (48 ounce) container Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 (32-oz) container Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup dried pearl barley, see shopping tip

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1½ cups carrots, sliced

1½ cups celery, sliced

1½ cups onions, chopped

1 (12 oz) bag peeled and chopped butternut squash or 2½ cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 pound cooked chicken or turkey (boneless, skinless), cubed


1. In a large pot, add all chicken broth and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, in a nonstick pan add olive oil, garlic, carrots, celery and onions. Sauté until soft (~ 5 minutes).

3. Add sautéed vegetables to the broth. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes

4. Add butternut squash, thyme, sage and fresh ground pepper. Continue to cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and stir with a rubber spatula so the squash doesn’t get mushy. Cook for 5 minutes more.

5. This soup freezes great.

Makes 12 cups total: 6 (2-cups) main course servings and 12 (1-cup) first course servings

Food Fact

Barley dates back to the Stone Age. The ancient Greeks relied on barley to make bread and athletes attributed much of their strength and physical growth to their barley rich diet.

Healthy Benefits

Pearled barley is high in cholesterol-lowering fiber and very low in fat. A single serving offers 11% of the RDA of iron and has a fair amount of folate and niacin.

This recipe uses a total of 80 ounces of broth or 10 cups.  Even though I love the flavor of Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth, if you’re on a low sodium diet, choose a chicken broth that has less sodium. There are many brands to choose from.

Shopping Tip

You can find dried pearl barley in the supermarket aisle with the dried beans.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
Weight Watchers
(old points) 2

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup
142 calories, 1g fat, 0.2g sat. fat, 18mg chol, 5g protein, 22g carbs, 5g fiber, 503mg sodium, 2g sugar

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13 Responses to “Yummy Chicken Barley Soup”

  1. Kerri Says:

    could you make this same recipe using sweet potato instead of the squash?

  2. admin Says:

    Yes Kerri and I have. Sweet potatoes work just as well in this recipe. Enjoy!

  3. healthy easy recipes Says:

    One of the better tasting soups I’ve tried making. Must be the butternut squash. Obviously good healthy ingredients and really easy to follow.

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks so much for your great feedback Shaun! You can see why it”s one of my family’s favorites!

  5. Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Says:

    Thank you for sharing this on Manic Monday, it looks and sounds delicious!! Pinned it and shared on my FB page 🙂

  6. admin Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Bobbi! I look forward to your Manic Monday link party each week. Great job!

  7. Weekly Healthy Menu Plan: November 5 – 11 « Half Size Me Says:

    […] ***Yummy Turkey Barley Soup […]

  8. admin Says:

    Heather, thank you so very much for including so many of my skinny recipes in your weekly meal plan. Your plan looks great!
    Keep up the great work.
    With my very best wishes,

  9. K Says:

    This recipe was amazing, whole family incl my kids loved it!

  10. admin Says:

    I’m so happy the entire family loved this recipe. It’s sure nice when everybody does! Thanks for your terrific feedback K!

  11. Julie Anthonoy Says:

    How much broth does this recipe require? 32 or 48 ounces? Thanks!

  12. admin Says:

    Julie this soup call for a 32 and 48 ounce container of Swanson’s reduced sodium chicken broth. It’s a total of 80 ounces of broth.
    This recipe makes 12 cups of soup. It might seem like a lot but it freezes great too.
    My best,

  13. Yummy Healthy Recipes With Barley « Healthfood Tips Says:

    […] Yummy Chicken Barley Soup with Weight Watchers Points … – … Greeks relied on barley to make bread and athletes attributed much of their strength and physical growth to their barley rich diet. Healthy Benefits … healthy easy recipes Says: October 13th, … ***Yummy Turkey Barley Soup […] admin Says: […]

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