Yummy Chicken Barley Soup

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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


Ingredients

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


Instructions

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
4
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
3
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