Morning Sickness-Friendly Chicken Barley Soup

Good for Baby, Good for Mama

Morning Sickness-Friendly Chicken Barley Soup


3 quarts


C = cup
T = tablespoon


  • 1 leek

  • 1 bulb fennel

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 parsnips

  • 1 C cauliflower florets

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard

  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 8 C chicken broth

  • 1 C barley

  • 2 C shredded cooked chicken

  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

  • 1 bay leaf

  • pinches kosher salt

  • pinches freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ C Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • flake salt, for garnish


  1. Thoroughly wash 1 leek, 1 bulb of fennel, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 2 parsnips, and 1 cup of cauliflower florets under cool, running drinkable water.

  2. Cut the leek in half, then thinly slice. A tip on cleaning leeks: leeks are often very dirty or sandy because of the soil they grow in, we suggest running sliced leeks through a colander and then placing them in a bowl of clean, cold water. Using your hands, agitate the sliced leeks to remove any remaining dirt or sand that may be clinging to them. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sliced leeks from the bowl of water into a clean, dry bowl. 

  3. Cut the fennel in half, then thinly slice. Thinly slice the celery stalks. Peel both the carrots and parsnips, then thinly slice. 

  4. In a big saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. 

  5. Add vegetables to the heated oil and sauté until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash 1 bunch of Swiss chard and a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley under cool, running, drinkable water. Cut swiss chard leaves into 1-inch pieces. Set parsley aside. 

  7. Add swiss chard, 8 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of barley, 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken, 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, 1 bay leaf, a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  8. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes.

  9. When the barley is soft, remove and discard the bay leaf and rind. Taste and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper. 

  10. Mince the parsley, aim for ¼ cup minced. Garnish with parsley, ¼ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and flake salt. Eat up, Mama!

  11. Once cooled completely, pour leftover soup into silicone molds to freeze into pre-portioned blocks. Your future self will thank you kindly.

Recipe By

Marcia Smart
of Smart in the Kitchen

Food Photography

Kendra Aronson

Food Styling

Kendra Aronson

Prop Styling

Kendra Aronson

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