Soupe Jo (Persian Chicken Barley Soup)

A traditional Persian chicken soup made with pearl barley, root vegetables and flavored with earthy, peppery and citrusy notes. Nourishing and creamy, this soup is perfect any time you need a little extra comfort.
🥦🥦 Ingredients

▢1 cup pearled barley, rinsed
▢2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
▢1 white or yellow onion or medium leek, finely diced
▢3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
▢2 celery stalks, finely diced
▢1 large carrot, grated
▢2 bay leaves
▢2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
▢2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
▢Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
▢3 tablespoons half and half, Greek yogurt, or whole milk
▢Small bunch of fresh cilantro or parsley, leaves and tender stems finely chopped
▢Salt
▢Black pepper
🥗🥗 Instructions

Soak the barley (optional). If you’d like extra fluffy barley, soak it in cold water for one hour.
Cook the onion. Place a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the onion and cook until it turns golden, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and vegetables. Stir in the garlic, celery, and ½ of the grated carrot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add the pearled barley. Drain the pearled barley and add to the pan. Stir until the barley is fully incorporated.
Simmer. Add the bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to allow the soup to simmer.
Cook the chicken. Add the whole chicken breasts and place a lid on the pan. Poach until the juices run clear in the thickest part of the breast, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the soup and set aside to cool.
Add fresh lemon juice. Add the juice from one lemon into the soup. Stir and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the pearl barley is tender. Check and stir the soup occasionally.
Shred the chicken. Use two forks to shred the chicken and set aside.
Partially blend of the soup. Take an immersion blender place it into one side of the pot. Blend just a little of the soup to thicken. If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle a few cups of the soup into a standard blender, blend, and then mix it back into the soup.
Finish the soup. Stir in the half and half, shredded chicken breast, remaining grated carrot, and cilantro (save a little cilantro for garnish). Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice. Simmer the soup for a few minutes to ensure the shredded chicken is warmed through.
Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with olive oil and a little more half and half (or a dollop of yogurt). Finish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and serve warm.
❗❗ Notes

To store leftovers: Allow the soup to cool completely. Seal and store in your refrigerator for up to 3 days and your freezer for up to 3 months.
😍😍 Nutrition

Calories: 364.3kcal
Carbohydrates: 37g
Protein: 28.2g
Fat: 11.2g
Saturated Fat: 2.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.8g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5.9g
Trans Fat: 0.01g
Cholesterol: 57.9mg
Sodium: 551.7mg
Potassium: 819.8mg
Fiber: 6g
Sugar: 6.6g
Vitamin A: 1747.8IU
Vitamin C: 4.6mg
Calcium: 35.3mg
Iron: 2.2mg

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