By then the chicken will be so tender it is falling apart…scoop it out, shred it into bite-sized pieces with two forks and pop it back in. Now cook some chopped carrot and celery in the microwave until they are tender and stir them into the soup. All that is left to do now is season it to taste with salt and pepper and dish it up.
Needless to say, this also makes amazing leftovers. It will thicken up a little in the fridge as the barley absorbs more of the broth, but you can thin it down as needed with more chicken broth or water.
So there you have it – a perfect, easy, delicious winter soup, with thanks once again to the trusty slow cooker!