Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup

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This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow-cooked to cold-fighting delicious perfection.

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How many of you caught that nasty cold? Me. I did. Yuck. It’s been 11 days now. The last 3 days haven’t been bad but I’m still running low on energy and feel a little funky.

It’s also day 8 of no computer. This post is brought to you with a combination of my Canon EOS 70D, iPhone 6s, and an ancient desktop Mac that doesn’t run many of the programs necessary for blogging. I basically used the computer for typing only.

This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection. | www.megiswell.com

Taking pictures was pretty hard. I think I got snot on my camera and I was wiped out the rest of the day too. Figuring out how to use my camera’s wifi features was also frustrating.

I’ve done it before but I always freaking forget that it’s not connecting the camera to the wifi network but it’s connecting the phone to the camera’s wifi.

Once I got the pictures on my phone it was pretty easy to edit them in the Lightroom mobile app. But sheesh. It’s so much easier with my beloved laptop.

Tricks of the Trade

Living with a chronic illness over the past few years, I’ve definitely picked up a few tricks. Whether it’s crafting an excellent cold-fighting Spiced Chamomile Ginger Hot Toddy or just being very aware of my diet, I’ve learned a lot.

I’m currently on Isoniazid (INH) for treating a possible latent TB infection. And it has a LOT of possible drug and food interactions. Pancreatitis is rare but possible, especially if you throw in medication interactions. Considering I’ve already had pancreatitis, I am being extremely cautious.

Acetaminophen is one of the possible moderate risks. Which sucks because it is literally the only medication I can take for pain and fever. Both of which I had with this cold.

I had a fever for 4 days and couldn’t take anything to bring it down or ease the body aches and arthritis pain I had. First I rolled up my sleeves to make a flu-fighting beverage out of water, garlic, ginger, green tea, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and honey. Then I got to work on this soup.

Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup

This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection. | www.megiswell.com

Turmeric

Turmeric is actually a fairly new addition to my cold-fighting arsenal. This past year I’ve done a lot with it:

But I haven’t utilized it for colds. It’s a cousin to ginger and contains curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory. This means it helps reduce inflammation. I obviously like the taste of it so I decided to see if it would help battle my symptoms.

Ginger

One of my favorites. I use it pretty successfully to battle nausea, indigestion, joint and muscle pain, and for getting warm when I have body chills.

Chicken

There is a reason why a lot of people crave chicken soup when they’re sick. The research is still new and being tested but it’s looking like it can block inflammation in the respiratory system, helping to reduce coughing.

Like all hot liquids, chicken soup increases the movement of nasal mucus but for some reason does it better than water. Plus there’s also the placebo effect: it’s just so damn comforting it makes us feel better.

This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection. | www.megiswell.com

Barley

A newly discovered love. I assumed it had less fiber than quinoa but actually, it has more and it doesn’t fall too short on protein either. For 1 cup of barley, there are 6 grams of fiber, 4.5 of which are insoluble. 

This can be both good and bad depending on what your symptoms are. Insoluble fiber can help improve the health of your GI lining but it can also move things along faster.

If your cold has affected your ability to digest food properly, it might be better to forgo the barley. Every body is different, but I always have problems with insoluble fiber when my gut is already compromised. It just makes me hang out in the bathroom even more. Cook a side of plain white rice on the side to serve with the soup if that’s the case for you.

The Verdict

This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection. | www.megiswell.com

As a whole, this Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup worked very well to fight my symptoms. I could breathe a lot better after eating it and in general, my aches and chills were eased.

I usually digest barley very well but I did notice it was a little harder to digest while ill. But overall, I’m very glad I had this to eat throughout the week. It’s very easy to make too, making it easier on your body.

4.75 from 12 votes

Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup

This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection.
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 cup pearled barley, uncooked
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and freshly grated
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 7 cups chicken broth preferably homemade

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the barley on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes. While the barley is roasting, prep your ingredients.
  • If the chicken thighs have skin, pull it off and discard. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery. For the leeks, cut away the end root and the dark green top, leaving only the white and pale green parts. Cut in half vertically and then cut those in half vertically as well. Thinly slice the leeks on the horizontal. You should have 2.5 cups. Peel the ginger and grate it on a micro plane.
  • Add everything except the lemon juice to a slow cooker. Cover and cook for 3 hours and 30 minutes on low. Take the chicken out and debone the chicken. Shred or chop it into bite sized pieces and put it back in the slow cooker. Add the lemon juice, stir, and cover. Cook for 30 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Roasting the barley isn’t necessary-especially for slow cooking soups. I still like to do it though.
If you want a soup that has more liquid, add another cup of broth during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
I liked this soup even better the next day but the barley will soak up even more liquid overnight so if you like your soups with more broth, consider adding the extra cup of chicken broth. 
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Main Dishes
This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, fresh grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow cooked to cold fighting delicious perfection. | www.megiswell.com
This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow-cooked to cold-fighting delicious perfection. | Immune Boosting Soup | #chickensoup | www.megiswell.com
This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow-cooked to cold-fighting delicious perfection. | Immune Boosting Soup | #chickensoup | www.megiswell.com
This Turmeric Ginger Chicken Barley Soup is for the sick and weary. Turmeric powder, freshly grated ginger, wholesome chicken broth, chicken, and roasted barley are slow-cooked to cold-fighting delicious perfection. | Immune Boosting Soup | #chickensoup | www.megiswell.com

Join the Conversation

  1. Is it meant to say cook on high rather than low? I made this and was so excited, but everything is still crunchy. It still tastes okay, but more like broth and raw vegetables. I’ve put it on to cook longer, on high, hoping that helps. Definitely has the potential to be amazing.

    1. Hi Kristin! I really apologize for the very late response to your comment (I took a break from blogging). The crunch was something I wanted-I don’t like mushy vegetables in my soups, so I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I would say there’s a couple of options for you if you’d like the veggies to be softer, and cooking it longer or on high would probably work. You could also try cooking it on high for 30 minutes, reducing the heat to low for the rest of the 3 hours and then once you add the lemon juice, cooking it with the cover off. This might fix both the veggies being too crunchy for you and help reduce the amount of broth. Keep in mind though that the barley will absorb a great deal of broth if there are any leftovers.

  2. 4 stars
    Sick or not sick, this is a great recipe! I added kale and increased vege’s a bit, and it was delicious. I hope you’re feeling better. Photos are super too. Thanks!

    1. So happy you liked it and more veggies is always a good idea! I’m feeling much better and thanks so much ?!

  3. 5 stars
    You certainly shouldn’t worry about the quality of your photos because these are absolutely beautiful. This soup looks as tho it could cure a cold or mend a broken heart. It’s that good looking!

    1. Thanks so much! You just made all the extra fuss and work I went through worth it!

  4. I haven’t had chicken soup in a while, I love the idea of adding barley and turmeric. Pinning for later!

  5. 5 stars
    Lightroom just doesn’t work well on a mobile! I find the app pretty frustrating. I can’t live without my computer! This soup sounds incredible anyway! Get better soon.

    1. Once I got used to it it was okay but still-pretty frustrating. I got to pick up my laptop yesterday which was a MAJOR relief. Thank you so much!

  6. This is the most glorious soup I’ve seen in a long time…. and I just made a pot of clam chowder. Shoot – I made the wrong soup. Seriously gorgeous color and flavors — barley is one of my all time faves too!

    1. Thank you Lisa! Clam chowder sounds good to me. But yes-the colors and flavors are pretty awesome.

  7. This soup looks so hearty and looks like it would warm you to the core! I’ll definitely be making it the next time I start to feel ill…which will be any day now the way 2017 is going for our family! Yikes!

    1. It does. Wishing you luck in your cold fighting endeavors!

  8. Sounds like such a healing soup. I’ve heard lots of good things about turmeric – I ought to use it more in my cooking.

    1. I love it! It’s pretty distinct but that’s what I like about it.

  9. 5 stars
    I LOVE barley, ginger, and turmeric when I don’t feel good. I’m sorry you’ve been sick though! It’s good that you’re on the mend. What happened to your computer?!!?

    1. It’s so great-like a trifecta! My computer started running really slow and freezing-it ended up having to be shipped off to the Apple warehouse and getting replacement parts put in. But I’ve got it back now! So happy.

      1. Yay! I’m glad it’s back! And i just saw your logo- it’s either new or I totally never saw it- I LOVE!!!

        1. Me too! It’s so much easier to do everything now! And thanks-I was hoping somebody noticed it! My sister did it for me.

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