Trying to Eat Cheap: A Month of Dinners, Day 5—Slow Cooker Barley Soup

I wasn't planning on posting a recipe today, but this soup was so freaking good I want to share. I'm proud of it! Here's the scoop.


Slow Cooker Barley Soup


  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 white mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, cubed
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig fresh rosemary, destemmed and chopped
  • sprig fresh lemon thyme, destemmed and chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T sake or dry white wine

Step 1: The night before, soak the barley in about 3 cups water. Prep all the veggies and, if you're into it, store in 3 separate containers: one for carrots + bay leaf + herbs, one for garlic + onion + celery, one for mushrooms. Also, cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces.

Step 2: In the morning (I do this before work), drain the barley and put it in your slow cooker along with the carrots/herbs and the water. Heat the olive oil and butter together and sauté the onions etc. until glassy and soft. Add the chicken thighs and stir until they've started to whiten on all sides. Then, add the mushrooms and the sake/wine, and cover. Simmer for a few minutes until the mushrooms have started to shrink and soften. Add everything to the slow cooker.

Step 3: Cook on low for 8+ hours. Serve with hot buttered toast.

This is a simple warming soup that is super tasty and filling. This is the first time I've made it with lemon thyme, and I think this herb is really something special. I'll guess this is about a $12 soup. Serves 3 with plenty of leftovers.


AM Nichols said...

I'm writing up a Recipe Roundup post for the FoodieView blog ( and would like to link to this post. You’d be given full credit with a link back to your recipe. I’d also like permission to use your photo.

Could you contact me at readablefeast at gmail dot com and let me know if it's o.k.? Thanks, Anne-Marie

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Absolutely, thanks for the link! I emailed you at the gmail address. Cheers, K