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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


  • 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. 
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Main Dishes