Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup

  • 10MINS
  • 40MINS
  • Serves 6
  • 126KCAL

You’ll be looking forward to lunchtime when this warming, low-calorie soup is on the menu! Made with tender chicken, flavoursome leeks and filling pearl barley, it’s hearty enough to see you through to dinner.

  • Batch Cook pinchofnom.com
  • Dairy Free pinchofnom.com
  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories126
  • Carbs15g
  • Protein11g
  • Fat1.8g
  • Saturates0.3g
  • Sugars5.5g

Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card below. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb!

When you don’t know what you fancy for lunch, our Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup is always a good idea. Despite being super low in calories, this recipe isn’t a soup that’ll leave you feeling hungry again after half an hour – the pearl barley helps to thicken the broth and make it really filling too. 

High in fibre, pearl barley is a handy ingredient to have in the cupboard. It’s a simple, nutritious grain that you can add into various soups and stews to add in extra goodness. 

In this easy recipe, it simmers in the pan alongside the chicken and veggies, bulking out the soup so that you’re left with a bowlful of comfort food that’ll keep you going until dinnertime. Don’t forget to serve with a nice crusty wholemeal roll on the side!

What diets is this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup suitable for?

This Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup recipe is suitable for anyone following a dairy-free diet. 

If you’re cooking for people with allergies, be extra careful when checking ingredients and preparing food!

Do you need any special ingredients to make Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup?

All of the ingredients to make this recipe should be easy to pick up from your usual supermarket. If you’ve never bought pearl barley before, you’ll find it on the aisle with other grains, near the rice and dried pasta. 

Hints & Tips

Below we added some of our communities most common hints and tips. We hope you find them useful.

NEW TIP
Wow. Gorgeous. Another fabulous recipe
Everything prepped apart from Bayleaves, (can't get them anywhere at the min, used 1 tsp dried Basil instead). Everything added to Soupmaker and cooked on chunky setting. Perfect. So tasty. Haven't had a recipe that we don't love yet.
NEW TIP
Tasty " winter warmer" soup
If you don't have a leek, celery works well instead. I made it in my Instapot pressure cooker on soup setting for 25 minutes. Cut your veggies and chicken into small pieces, as you don't want overly large pieces in the finished soup.

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‘A warming bowl of loveliness in these chilly times. Yummmmmmmmm.’

Mandy

How many calories are in this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup?

This Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup is included in our Everyday Light category because it contains just 126 calories per portion. For more delicious dishes all under 400 calories, take a look at other Everyday Light recipes!

This Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup recipe is ideal when following any of the larger diet plans such as Weight Watchers or counting calories.

The average woman needs around 2000kcal per day to maintain a healthy body weight, and men typically need slightly more at 2,500kcals, but you may want to reduce these if you are aiming to lose weight. You can find more information on the NHS website.

Step 1

Spray a large saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften.

Step 1 pinchofnom.com

Step 2

Add the chicken, carrot, pearl barley, bay leaves, thyme and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender and the soup has thickened slightly.

Step 2 pinchofnom.com

Step 3

Remove the bay leaves and season to taste with salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve alone or with a crusty wholemeal roll or other accompaniment of choice.

Step 3 pinchofnom.com

Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What could I serve with this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup?

This makes for a hearty lunch when served with a wholemeal bread roll. A 60g roll adds an extra 144 calories, taking the total meal to 270 calories. Alternatively, you could serve a smaller portion alongside any of the following dishes:

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How do you know when Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup is cooked?

You’ll need to cook this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup for around 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked all the way through and the pearl barley has softened.

Here in the UK, the standard advice is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and maintained that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep you and your family safe! 

How long can you keep Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup in the fridge?

We’d recommend that you eat this recipe within 4 hours of serving it.

If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool completely before popping them in a container with a lid and refrigerating. Leftover Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Portion it out into individual servings
  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
  • Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer! 

How do I reheat Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup?

From chilled: Place in a microwavable container with a loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat from chilled. 

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Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup

You’ll be looking forward to lunchtime when this warming, low-calorie soup is on the menu! Made with tender chicken, flavoursome leeks and filling pearl barley, it’s hearty enough to see you through to dinner.
  • Prep Time
    10 MINS
  • Cook Time
    40 MINS
  • KCals 126
  • Carbs 15G

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large leeks, approx. 300g, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 300 g diced chicken breast or thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 60 g pearl barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 chicken stock cubes,
  • 1.2 L boiling water
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • low-calorie cooking spray

large saucepan with lid

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Spray a large saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Add the chicken, carrot, pearl barley, bay leaves, thyme and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender and the soup has thickened slightly.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste with salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve alone or with a crusty wholemeal roll or other accompaniment of choice.

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Recipe notes

Tip: You can use chicken breast or chicken thighs in this soup, although we think thighs are more flavoursome than breast.
Tip: Don't forget to remove the bay leaves before serving!

We love seeing your photos! If you’ve made this Chicken, Leek and Barley Soup, don’t forget to tag us in your pics!

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4 comments

See what others have to say

PaulineSunday 22nd January 2023

When I change the servings it doesn’t change the amount of water required for the stock, I’m always worried I add too much water in relation to the number of stock cubes. I’m making soup for 10 how much stock would you advise? Thank you,

Reply

    HollyMonday 23rd January 2023

    Hey Pauline, thanks so much for your message, I’ve amended the recipe to separate the water from the stock cubes this will now work when changing the portions. hope that helps!

    Reply

KirstySunday 15th January 2023

Can you substitute the leek for something else that’s just as tasty as leeks upset my belly? Thank you

Reply

    HollyMonday 16th January 2023

    Hi Kirsty, you could swap the leek for a diced onion, hope that helps!

    Reply

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