I got this recipe from my mother; it's a hearty soup, perfect for a crisp fall day. The sweet potato and barley combine for a unique chicken soup that is always a crowd-pleaser! (Also a great way to use chicken leftovers.)

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
16 servings
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium heat; cook and stir onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil until onion is slightly tender, about 8 minutes.

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  • Stir chicken stock, chicken, carrots, parsnips, and barley into onion mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is slightly tender, about 30 minutes.

  • Stir sweet potatoes into soup and simmer until sweet potatoes and barley are tender, about 30 minutes; season with dill, salt, and pepper.

Nutrition Facts

240 calories; protein 11.8g 24% DV; carbohydrates 41.3g 13% DV; fat 3.5g 5% DV; cholesterol 20.2mg 7% DV; sodium 529.6mg 21% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (13)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/10/2014
We loved this! I had two chicken carcasses from last night and some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up so I searched for chicken soup recipes with sweet potatoes and this was the best looking one. (Healthiest looking one I mean.) I saved it! Read More
(3)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/03/2015
I thought this was fine overall flavorwise but mine turned out more like a goulash. The barley absorbed all the liquid. I cooked it in a soup pot and the soup came to the top. I used rotisserie chicken for ease. For the 10 cups of broth I used an equal amount of water and 8 tsp of broth powder (the package called for 20 tsp). Anymore and it would have been too salty. I didnt add the optional parsnips or dill. I had 4 small sweet potatoes already baked. So I just added them the last 10 minutes. I am wondering if a quick barley wouldnt be better. I think some instant or a little bit of regular rice would have been more to my liking. The barley was chewy still after over 30 minutes and a bit dominant in the soup. Read More
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/09/2014
We loved this! I had two chicken carcasses from last night and some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up so I searched for chicken soup recipes with sweet potatoes and this was the best looking one. (Healthiest looking one I mean.) I saved it! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/22/2014
I so enjoyed discovering and making your mother's soup. Thanks for sharing. Used the leftovers of a rotisserie chicken to make broth and for the meat. I didn't have parsnips and only 2 sweet potatoes but it worked wonderfully. I added a little curry which went very well with the sweet-salty theme. Used a potato masher to break up the sweet potatoes a little at the end. Very flavorful and satisfying! Will make again! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2018
A very delicious cozy soup. I made it using my leftover turkey and it still came out great! I would halve it if you just want to make it for four people which is what I did. A good soup for when you are sick. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/17/2017
We used a whole head of garlic about 5 small/med. red onions & half a celeriac (instead of celery). We added a bit of poultry seasoning to the chopped chicken breast as we sautéed it. Then about a cup of white wine was added along with the chopped sweet potatoes. Added a generous half cup of chopped fresh dill but no salt & pepper while it was having its final 20 minutes of simmering. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/02/2017
This turned into a sticky stew for me. Next time I will cut the sweet potato barley and chicken down to half of what was called for and hope for a soup. It tastes good though. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2016
Wonderful soup. I did not precook chicken and I used white turnip as I could not fin parsnips. turned out great. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2015
I used fresh chicken breast which I diced and sautéed in the olive oil. I also added black pepper and celery seed immediately. (No celery in the house!). The other changes I made were the addition of freeze-dried lemon grass and freeze-dried poultry seasonings. Not crazy about sweet potatoes so I used white potatoes. So it's BASICALLY the same soup. Lol Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2016
Awesome soup! May be the best I've ever made. I made a few variations: used cooked chicken pre cooked barley vegetable stock and dried dill. All turned out amazing. I definitely recommend this soup to anyone looking for a hearty bowl on a cold day Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/15/2015
This was a great variation of chicken barley vegetable soup. My kids loved the addition of sweet potatoes. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
09/03/2015
I thought this was fine overall flavorwise but mine turned out more like a goulash. The barley absorbed all the liquid. I cooked it in a soup pot and the soup came to the top. I used rotisserie chicken for ease. For the 10 cups of broth I used an equal amount of water and 8 tsp of broth powder (the package called for 20 tsp). Anymore and it would have been too salty. I didnt add the optional parsnips or dill. I had 4 small sweet potatoes already baked. So I just added them the last 10 minutes. I am wondering if a quick barley wouldnt be better. I think some instant or a little bit of regular rice would have been more to my liking. The barley was chewy still after over 30 minutes and a bit dominant in the soup. Read More