Cozy Slow Cooker Chicken and Barley Soup

Chicken soup in a crockpot with two mugs of soup, spoons and a wooden ladle

A delicious and easy chicken and barley soup recipe designed for the slow cooker. Nourishing and comforting, this chicken soup is the perfect cozy meal for a cold winter’s night.



1 teaspoon canola oil

6-8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 ½-3 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 onion, diced small

2 carrots, diced medium

2 stalks of celery, diced medium

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

¼ cup dry white wine

7 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¾ cup pearl barley

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


  1. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.  Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook over medium heat until vegetables have softened slightly, about 2-3 minutes.  Add thyme and wine and continue cooking, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, until wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.  Add 3 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Transfer vegetables and broth to the slow cooker.

  2. Add remaining 4 cups broth, pearl barley, bay leaf and soy sauce to the slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3 hours.

  3. Remove chicken thighs from the slow cooker and, using tongs and a fork, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces discarding the skin and the bones.  Skim any excess fat from the surface of the soup. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker. Add lemon juice and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve.


Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine

Keywords: chicken, barley, soup, slow cooker