Chicken Soup with Ham, Pearl Barley and Lima Beans

I love to make soups and stews in cold winter times.  Although it takes long time than regular dishes, my whole kitchen smells really good! O(∩_∩)O~

Today I make chicken soup with ham, pearl barleys and lima beans.  The leftover ham bone is perfect for making flavorful chicken soup.  The ham bone adds tons of flavors to the soup, so you don’t need too much seasoning for the soup.


1 organic free range hen (bought from Asian grocery store)
1 large piece of ham bone
1 piece of ginger, crushed
1/4 cup lima beans
1/4 cup pearl barley
1 to 2 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste


Rinse the hen and dice it into 2 by 2 inches pieces.  Soak them in a large pot of cold water for 30 to 60 minutes.  Change the water twice in between.  Drain well. 

Add diced hen, ham bone, ginger and rice cooking wine to a large Staub cast iron pot.  Add enough water to the pot, about 3 to 4 inches above the chicken.

Heat the pot over high heat.  When the soup comes to a boiling point, allow it to keep boiling over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes.  Use a spoon to get rid of any impurities coming to the top.

Cover with lid; reduce the heat to simmer for 1 hour.

I love my Staub cast iron pots. They are perfect for simmering.

Add lima beans and pearl barleys, and crank up the heat to medium high.  When the soup boils again, reduce to simmer for another hour or so. 

10 minutes prior serving the soup, add sugar, white ground pepper and salt to taste.  Boil the soup over medium high for 10 minutes.

The ham bone itself is quite salty.  Sample the soup before adding salt.  So that you can make sure it wouldn’t be over seasoned.

Serve immediately with cooked rice or steamed buns.