Creamy Chicken, Barley & Mushroom Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package Smart Chicken tenders, sliced into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 large sweet onion, diced

  • 4 carrots, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 3 ribs celery, diced

  • 1 pound mushrooms, quartered

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 32 ounces chicken stock

  • 32 ounces water

  • 12 ounces heavy cream

  • 1½ cups barley

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Directions

To a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add the canola oil. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot. Add more oil to the same pan as needed, then add the onion, carrots, garlic, celery, mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaves and sauté over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the chicken stock, water, cream, and barley and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, add parsley and chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste.