Fiber Rich Chicken, Barley and Butternut Squash Soup

It’s officially fall and there’s something quite special about a big pot of soup cooking on the stovetop. What I adore about this flavorful chicken soup is that it’s not only delicious, it’s so healthy. The barley adds an amazing amount of fiber along with the squash and the carrots, squash, celery, and onions are loaded with vitamins. The skinny for 1 cup,  142 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. It’s so hearty you can serve this as main course soup.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


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

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

1 cup dried pearl barley

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1½ cups carrots, sliced

1½ cups celery, sliced

1½ cups onions, chopped

1 pound chicken breasts, (boneless, skinless), cubed

1 (12 oz) bag pre-peeled, pre-chopped butternut squash or 2 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped, see shopping tips

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

Fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot add the 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 the olive oil, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, and sauté until soft (~ 5 minutes).

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

4. Add the chicken, butternut squash, thyme, sage and fresh ground pepper. Continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir a few times with a rubber spatula so the squash doesn’t get mushy.

5. This soup freezes great.

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

Food Facts

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

Butternut squash is rich in carotenes and is a good source of vitamins C and B1, B6, folic acid, potassium and fiber.

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. This recipe calls for a total of 10 cups broth.

Shopping Tips

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

Most supermarkets sell bags of pre-peeled, pre-chopped butternut squash. You’ll also find it at Trader Joe’s.

WW SmartPoints

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

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!