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Persian-Style Chicken, Mushroom and Barley Soup

6 Servings

1 hour

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This satisfying meal in a bowl is a riff on the Persian dish called soup-e jo. Though barley’s natural starch lends the soup body, béchamel, a mixture of butter, flour and milk, also is traditional for added richness and thickening. For ease, we skip the béchamel and instead simply mix a tablespoon of flour into the sautéed onion and mushrooms, then swirl in a little cream at the very end. Fragrant spices give the soup color and complexity, and fresh herbs (we like a combination of mint and dill, though just one type does nicely) lift and brighten the flavors.




Don’t use whole-grain barley, as it requires a significantly longer cooking time than pearled barley.

1 hour



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Jennifer B.
January 14, 2023
Hmm, my experience was different than the other reviewers, I loved the seasonings. I didn't have fresh mushrooms, so threw in soaked and drained Chinese dry black fungus, a personal favorite. Delicious!
Chris H.
January 1, 2023
Try it, it’s a winner.
Bill O.
December 20, 2022
Not a 5+,but
Still, I'd give it a 5 and would make it again.
Robin R.
January 16, 2023
Incredibly delicious.
I used leftover rotisserie chicken, less than the recipe called for, and it was wonderful
Julie W.
December 19, 2022
Great on a cold night
Made this tonight but needs some adjustments. I made as written, but too plain, so added towards the end: microplane shallot, turkish chilis (fruity and spicy), fresh thyme, way more salt & black pepper. Toppings: parsley & mint (excellent addition), dollop of crème fresh, Maldon salt and more black pepper. I only had dried barley so I cooked that for 30min in a pot of water. I had a brain freeze and dumped the whole pot of boiling barley into the soup - so mine was a little more broth than pictured. Luckily I didn’t ruin it and starchy barley water thickened up the soup. My family loved it. Will make again.
Sally S.

I made this yesterday and halved the recipe. This was an easy dish to make. It was good but not great. It may have been because my chicken broth was unsalted and I had to add a lot of extra salt to season. I hoped all the herbs at the end would give more flavor, but it was not a wow dish that I would make again.

kim d.

This soup is one of the best I've ever cooked. So delicious!