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Zone Diet Make-ahead Chicken Vegetable Barley Soup

Contributed by: Leni Spooner


  • 8 ounces skinless, deboned chicken breast (cooked or raw) minced (8P)
  • 2 cups celery chopped fine (1C)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion chopped fine (1C)
  • 1 cup carrots chopped fine (1C)
  • 2 cups canned roma tomatoes chopped (with or without liquid) (1C)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (medium or hot) (1C)Feel free to substitute 4 cups minced Portobello mushrooms for salsa)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pearl barley (dry) (3C)
  • 2 2/3 teaspoons olive oil (8F)
  • 1 to 2 litres water


  • Salt/White or Red Pepper to taste
  • Finely minced garlic (1/2 teaspoon or to taste)

Enhancements for those who are still weaning away from canned soup strength:

  • Soy Sauce -- 1 teaspoon or to taste (soy can replace salt).
  • 1 low-sodium and MSG free vegetable or chicken bouillon cube
  • Cajun Spice to taste


  • Warm olive oil in a deep pot and add garlic if using.

  • Add onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms and sauté until almost transparent.

  • Add tablespoons of water for sauté process if the vegetables get too dry.

  • When onion and celery start to become transparent, add chopped tomatoes and salsa. Add minced chicken.

  • After a minute or two add water. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer.

  • Add desired seasonings. Simmer for 1/2 hour.

  • Add barley and adjust seasonings to taste.

  • Simmer for another 45 minutes.

  • Soup is ready to serve when vegetables and barley reach desired tenderness.

Remark: This recipe is designed to be made in bulk and then freeze in appropriate serving sizes for quick meals. Recipe is based on 8 blocks to be divided into desired blocks at serving time. Serve as a main entree or couple with zone snacks for a quick lunch.

Measure yield of soup and divide into desired portions ( 4 or 2 blocks, etc.). If serving in smaller blocks, Zone snacks can be added for a more texture varied Zone meal. Please note that this soup is quite filling even for high-carb consuming non-Zoners.

Enhanced Nutrition: Reduce chicken by 1 ounce and substitute 1 ounce of anchovy (packed in water variety). Sauté the anchovies with olive oil so it starts to melt and then the vegetables.

For lactating Moms: Adjust the vegetable quantities to allow for an extra block or so of barley (1/2 tablespoon = 1C). Something about barley water does wonders for milk production.Yields lots of energy and lots of milk.


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