A great alternative to chicken noodle soup. I added more broth and then more again to the leftovers since the barley absorbs a lot. The leftovers are even better than when it's first made. Once again, allrecipes.com, ladies and gentlemen!
8 cups water (I used half water, half chicken broth)
2 pounds chicken thighs, or more to taste (I used thighs and breasts)
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery (try to include celery leaves)
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup pearl barley
3 bay leaves
1 cube chicken bouillon, or more to taste
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine water, chicken thighs, and bay leaves in a large stock pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, place a cover on the pot, and cook at a simmer until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken to a cutting board to cool. Remove and discard bones, skin, and fat from chicken. Cut remaining meat into bite-sized pieces.
Cool broth until the fat congeals on the surface. Skim and discard fat.
Return soup to heat; add carrots, celery, onion, pearl barley, bay leaves, chicken bouillon, poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and black pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, place cover on the pot, and simmer until the barley is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 60 to 90 minutes. Stir lemon juice into the soup just before serving.