Chicken Barley Soup

It's spring yet it's a chilly 54 degrees and raining so I decided Kirby would enjoy some soup this week. Actually soup is good any time of the year since it can be eaten cold or warmed up.  Soup contains water which is a great benefit to a dog's digestive system for new cell formation, detoxification, removal of waste, temperature regulation, nutrient absorption and digestion. There's a reason people say soup is good for the soul... and cold days... and sick ones... and, well you get the idea. 

If you find you want less broth once it's cooked, scoop out the excess and freeze in ice cube trays and then place in zip lock freezer bags to use in other recipes calling for chicken stock or for a nutritious snack on a hot summer day. Each cube contains 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce - 12 ice cubes equal roughly 1 cup. 

Barley, which adds a delicious nutty flavor, can be omitted if you prefer grain free. If so, then reduce the amount of water by two cups.

 Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken Barley Soup

A light, tasty soup that can be shared

Yields: 12 – 1 cup servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes

Nutrition facts:
169 Calories, 47 Calories from fat
Total fat: 5.0g or 8% (1.2g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 2 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground egg shell
  • 2 small chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup barley, soaked

Directions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a dutch oven or stockpot. Add the water and olive oil. Cook over medium to medium high heat until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool. Discard the bones and skin, then shred or dice into small pieces. Skim the fat off the top of the broth in pot.
  2. Mix together the seasonings and add to the broth. Add the chopped veggies and barley. Vegetables are harder for a dog to digest so I like to shred them for Kirby so you can decide whether chopped or shredded for your dog. Cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes until veggies are really tender and barley is well cooked.
  3. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.
  4. Let cool and serve.

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I freeze this in individual 1 cup containers for up to three months.