Chicken and Barley Soup

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves: 10

This soup is reminiscent of the vegetable soup you had as a kid, but uses more sophisticated flavours to add elegance to a rustic dish. The addition of chicken makes it more of a meal, and the balsamic vinegar gives a subtle tangy note to the soup.


1/2 lb (0.3 kg) ground chicken
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) onion(s), diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 lb (0.3 kg) mushrooms, large
1 carrot(s), large
1 stalk celery, large
1 tbsp (15 mL) thyme, fresh
2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce, low-sodium
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pepper
4 cups (1 L) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) pearl barley
1 can black beans


1 Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add ground chicken and cook until no longer pink inside. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 Wash and slice mushrooms, carrot and celery. Mince the fresh thyme. Add to ground chicken and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms.
3 Add tomato paste, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to coat vegetables. Add water and barley. Bring to a boil.
4 Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until barley is tender.
5 Rinse canned beans, add to mixture and heat through.