Chicken Barley Soup

This is our friend Jeremy (with our son Gray).  Gray loves Jeremy — and so do Matt and I.

Gray and Jeremy

We met Jeremy, his wife Lici, and their kids roughly 4 years ago when they moved in next door.  I took over a loaf of “Barb Bread” the day they moved in to welcome them to the ‘neighborhood’.  I immediately knew they would be great neighbors — and they were.  We developed a friendship — and an arrangement.  Jeremy watered our garden and fed our dogs when we were gone, and I sent over food.  It made us all happy.

On a sad day a few months ago, they moved so that their kids could attend a different school.  We totally got it.  But an even sadder day came a few weeks ago when Jeremy called Matt to tell him that he has Stage 4 Colon Cancer.  We were literally loading the car with our suitcases two weeks ago for a trip to Alaska when the phone rang.  I could tell by Matt’s questions and tone that it was cancer but I was shocked when he told me who it was.  Just shocked.

To cope, I do what I do best — I cook.  When my mom was going through chemo a few years ago, the one thing that settled well and tasted good was Chicken Barley Soup.  This is her recipe.

Chicken Barley Soup

  • 1 package chicken breasts, cooked and either cut into pieces or shredded
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock (I add a bit more as barley tends to puff up and take over – sort of like rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry season
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage

Combine all the ingredients and simmer at least one hour.

Chicken Barley Soup

Yesterday Gray and I delivered a pot of Chicken Barley Soup and a loaf of “Bawb Bread” — as Jeremy and Lici’s son Mack calls it.  Jeremy looked great and is handling all of this in typical Jeremy fashion — with a positive attitude and a big, smiling face.  We pray for him daily, and I will ask you to do the same.  As far as the soup — if he likes it, I will deliver it by the truckload.  And if he doesn’t, I’ll still deliver “Bawb Bread”.



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