Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium to high heat
Add chicken thighs and lightly brown on both sides. Remove before fully cooked through and set aside.
Add onion, celery, carrots, and parsnips. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onions and celery start to soften.
Add barley and stir to combine.
Add chicken broth, parsley, and chicken thighs. Increase heat to bring to a light boil then reduce heat simmer until barley, carrots, and parsnips are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove chicken thighs and shred meat into bite-size peices then return to the pot.
Remove from heat and season with ground pepper and salt to taste.