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.Jump to Recipe
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.
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
Turmeric is actually a fairly new addition to my cold-fighting arsenal. This past year I’ve done a lot with it:
- Orange Pomelo Turmeric Mojito
- Mango Margaritas with a Turmeric Chili Twist
- Mango Aguas Frescas, Tomatillo Margarita
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.