1 quart chicken stock (made with kosher chickens), fairly thick (syrupy when chilled--that thick)
1 quart water
1 2-cup frozen packet of cut-up cooked chicken, the chicken the stock was made from
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilis
1 can black beans
3/4 cup pearl barley
Chicken stock, water, tomatoes & chili, and black beans (and their liquid) were combined and heated to boiling, then the barley went in, heat was reduced to simmer and the pot covered. When the barley was about done (about 50 minutes), the frozen lump of chicken went in and the whole reheated to simmer until the guests arrived.
This made a hearty, thickish soup, very good with the brown bread (whole-wheat with dried cranberries, walnuts, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds in it) and fed five adults, three of them Men With Appetites. There was none left (!). I had never before put black beans in this sort of soup, but it was visually attractive--a dark brown color, with white barley, black beans, orange-red bits of tomato, green bits of chili peppers and the lumps of chicken (both light and dark.)
I'm going to try it with rice and red beans instead of black beans another day. I imagine that you could also add a little yellow corn to it for a corn soup, but I don't think I'd like a LOT of corn in it.
The kosher chicken stock is the richest flavored I've made...using the same basic ingredients as I always use (celery, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, mixed herbs that include rosemary, thyme, and sage), it was noticeably more flavorful, and the chicken still had flavor in the soup today. In our area, kosher chicken is available in only one store, and it does cost more, but the flavor is noticeably better...it's worth it to me.