The sourness from pickles and tender texture of barley in a broth are a perfect combination.
Keyword: chicken soup with pickles and barley
fresh parsley (or any other fresh herb of your choice);
There are several ways to minimize cooking time of this soup. You can presoak barley before cooking. Take a deep bowl for barley and fill it with water. Leave it in water to soak for several hours (3 hours max). Do not overdo this step, as your barley can turn sour. Make sure that you rinse barley several times after soaking. On the other hand, you can simple precook barley beforehand for the soup.
Take a large pot, place chicken in there, cover with water and put it on the high heat. When water boils lower the heat to minimum for broth to simmer. You should boil chicken for 40 minutes in the long run. Remember, to keep your soup clear you need to skim off any impurities that will appear at the top.
When you have had chicken cooking for 20 minutes, add rinsed barley. Let it cook together with chicken meat for additional 20 minutes.
At this time, let’s make sautéed vegetables for our soup. Onion will be the first one to go. Peel the onion and then chop it. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan on the medium-high heat and add chopped onion. Sauté onion for 2 minutes until translucent and soft.
Peel carrot and grate it using coarse side. Add grated carrot to the onion and let them cook for additional 2 minutes.
Chop or grate pickles before adding to the mixture of onion and carrot in the skillet.
In 3 minutes, add tomato paste. I noticed that if you add several tablespoons of broth to the mixture, tomato paste would spread evenly over all the vegetables in the skillet. Let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes at least.
When 40 minutes of chicken cooking pass, take it out from the broth. Let it cool down little bit, separate meat from the bone and shred it into small pieces.
Cut peeled potato into small cubes. Add it to the broth and wait for broth to reboil before adding shredded chicken.
Potato should be cooked in 15 minutes or so. When you fill that it is almost ready, pour out sautéed vegetables from the skillet into the broth. Before adding any salt or pepper, wait for the soup to reboil again. When you added all the flavours that you wanted, wait for 3 minutes for them to unfold. Check the taste of your broth. If everything is perfect, cover pot with a lid and take it from the stove.
Let the pickle soup with barley sit for 10-15 minutes. Served best with sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.