We always have those foods that we turn to when we are not feeling well, physically or emotionally.
For some, it’s chocolate (yes, I have certainly been guilty of this). Yet, when the days get dark and I am not feeling my best, I always turn to soup. I’m not talking about the canned stuff, which can have a day’s worth of sodium and taste dead to me. I am talking about the nourishing, full-bodied kind. The “my grandma made this” kind of soup. Full of love, life, and only the best ingredients. You feel like you have had a warm hug after eating this soup. I always make it for anyone I know going through chemo treatments or a serious illness. Some have said it is the only thing that got them through. This soup is truly a meal in a bowl, another thing I treasure. Homemade chicken stock, chicken, whole grain barley, kale, butternut squash, and healing ginger make it one of the most well-rounded soups out there. What do you eat or do to nourish yourself? And in the meantime, make yourself a bowl of this delicious soup!
Hearty Chicken Soup with Barely and KalePrint
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love this soup! Hearty Chicken Soup with Barley and Kale checks off all the boxes – it’s warming, comforting and so so good for you.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
3 carrots, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced small
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced butternut squash (you can use frozen to save time but fresh is better)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cups cooked barley
1 small bunch of kale, stem removed and torn into small pieces
1. In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the butternut squash and sauté for another 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
2. Add diced chicken. Cook, stirring until chicken is partially cooked, about 2 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.
4. Add barley and kale and cook until kale is wilted, 5 minutes more. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed and serve hot.
This soup freezes beautifully! Place in single-serving containers and store for up to three months.
Save time – you can easily save time by buying pre-grated ginger, prechopped garlic, along with frozen butternut squash.