Polish Chicken Barley Soup With Mushrooms - Krupnik

4 servings
55 min

This hearty Polish Chicken Barley Soup ("Krupnik") made by cooking chicken pieces with barley, root vegetables, and mushrooms yields a thick and nutritious dish the whole family loves!

Done in under an hour, this simple chicken soup with barley recipe is perfect for cold winter nights or when you're feeling under the weather but also one of those soups you can enjoy year-round!

I know we all love barley in  chicken gumbo and  butternut squash risotto (not to mention beer), but it truly shines in this delicious krupnik. 

Barley is archaically called krupy - hence the name krupnik zupa. It's not to be confused with krupnik or krupnikas - a traditional Polish honey vodka.

If you wonder what barley tastes like, it has a nutty flavor with a slightly chewy texture, much like farro or brown rice. It is also healthier than rice, high in minerals, fiber, and protein.

For more tips and FAQs, visit the recipe on the blog.

Polish Chicken Barley Soup With Mushrooms - Krupnik
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • ▢ 2 chicken thighs
  • ▢ ½ cup quick-cooking barley
  • ▢ 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • ▢ 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • ▢ 2 medium potatoes peeled cubed
  • ▢ 1 medium carrot peeled sliced
  • ▢ ½ medium celeriac peeled and chopped
  • ▢ 3 bay leaves
  • ▢ 3 grains of allspice
  • ▢ 5 whole black peppercorns or ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ▢ 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ▢ 1 tsp sea salt
  • ▢ 5 cups cold water or chicken stock
  • ▢ Fresh parsley for garnish

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a 4qt Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the bay leaf and onions and sauté until softened, for about 3 minutes.
Add the thighs and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Add the vegetables, allspice, salt, and pepper. Pour in the water (or chicken stock), cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime, add sliced mushrooms to a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet (don't crowd them) with a tablespoon of oil (or butter). Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat or until golden and almost caramelized. Set aside.
Remove the thighs from the pot. Separate the meat from the skin and bone and place the meat back in the pot.
Add cooked mushrooms and barley to the soup and cook 10 minutes longer or until barley is cooked.
Adjust the seasoning as necessary and serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Use chicken thighs, one whole leg, or wings. I do not recommend using the chicken breast as it tends to get tough after prolonged cooking.
  • You don't have to remove the skin and bones before adding the barley in the process but do so before serving the soup.
  • Substitute whole allspice berries with the ground allspice (⅛ tsp) or whole cloves.
  • If you can't find celeriac (celery root), then use celery stalks or turnips with a pinch of celery seeds or salt.
  • Replace fried fresh mushrooms with dried porcini - hydrate as per package before adding to the soup in step 5.
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