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Dilled Chicken Soup Stew 

When family and friends gather for an evening of Halloween trick-or-treating, warm their bones with a serving of Dilled Chicken Soup Stew before sending them out the door. 

It's also a flavorful soup to serve at a casual soup supper gathering or an office potluck.

You'll find more seasonal main dish recipes, as well as desserts, cookies and other treats that are perfect for Halloween and fall in Entertaining, Cedar Valley Home & Garden's new online magazine at or

This recipe is from the Washington Post. 

Dilled Chicken Soup Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed well and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium ribs celery, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 6 large sprigs dill, plus 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 5 to 6 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley

Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and a pinch of salt, stirring to coat; reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften.

Stir in the mushrooms; cook for about 4 minutes, then add the carrots, celery, dill sprigs and 5 cups of the broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken breast halves in the broth, bone side up. The broth should just cover the chicken; if it doesn't, add some or all of the remaining broth as needed. Poach the chicken, uncovered, until it is cooked through, 30 to 45 minutes; reduce the heat as needed so the liquid does not boil. The timing will depend on the thickness of the breast halves. Use tongs to transfer to the chicken to a plate to cool.

Stir the barley into the soup; increase the heat to medium-high. Once the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to maintain a low boil. Partially cover and cook until the barley is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

When the chicken is cool to the touch, pull the meat off the bone; discard the bones and any visible fat. Tear the meat into large chunks, about 2 inches or so.

Once the barley is tender, discard the dill sprigs. Return the chicken to the pot; add the remaining chopped dill, stirring to combine.

Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve hot. Makes 11 cups. 


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