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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 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.  It’s so low in fat and calories, you can serve it as a main course soup with 2 hearty cups!

chicken barley soup recipe, weight watchers, weight watchers points, winter soup, hearty soup, featured

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 2 ½ 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 
(old points) 2
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 3


SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup
142 calories, 1g fat, 13g protein, 22g carbs, 5g fiber, 503mg sodium, 2g sugar

Find more delicious recipes on Nancy Fox’s website, Skinny Kitchen

Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 
Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show. Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called Skinny Kitchen. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.

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