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Why is it Still Cold? Looks Like Time For Another Soup – Chicken and Barley Soup

We are still experiencing windy and cold weather here today in my area of New York and even though Spring starts tomorrow night, we are expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow, which does not bring a smile to anyone’s face around here after all of the snow and cold we have had this winter. In any case,cold weather, and even early spring weather that can be chilly, is still a good time to break out the soup recipes and make something nice and warming. This particular recipe that I found at the Kitchn worked perfectly with some leftover chicken that I had. It is for chicken and barley soup and makes use of chicken, some veggies and barley to create a hearty and warming soup.

Chicken and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 quart chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups diced cooked chicken

1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste

Parsley, to garnish, if desired

Heat the olive oil or vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, oregano and salt. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil and herbs, then cover the pot and allow the vegetables to sweat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, water and the pearl barley to the pot. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. All the soup to simmer until the barley is cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover the pot and add the cooked chicken. Allow the chicken to warm through, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste the soup to adjust the seasonings and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper to suit your tastes. Serve the soup immediately and garnish it with parsley, if desired.

If you do not have any cooked or leftover chicken in the fridge, you can easily add some uncooked  cubed chicken after you have sweat the vegetables and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. the lemon juice adds a nice touch to the soup but I found 1 tablespoon to be plenty and left it at that. I really liked the barley with this soup and it added great texture and flavor overall to make the soup a bit heartier than just your standard chicken soup or chicken and rice soup. You could always add different vegetables or other veggies if you prefer and this soup is hearty enough to stand on its own as a meal, though some nice crunchy homemade bread with it does go rather nicely. Hopefully it will be the last soup recipe of the winter for us here!

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

chickenandbarleysoup

 
 

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A Great Fall Soup in the Slow Cooker – Slow Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

With the cooler weather coming upon us now, that means more of an opportunity to make soups and make some good use of the slow cooker. We made a couple of different soups this week, and the first one allowed me to use some of the dried beans I had picked up that were on sale this past week. I had picked up bags of black beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans and lentils, so I had plenty to work with as I looked for a recipe where I could use different types in one soup. I came upon this recipe from the Food Network for a bean and barley soup in the slow cooker and it sounded perfect.

Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

1 cup dried multi-bean mix or Great Northern Beans, picked over and rinsed

1/2 cup pearl barley

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

2 ribs celery, roughly chopped

1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning herb blend

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, crumbled if large (optional)

One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

3 cups cleaned baby spinach leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Put 6 cups of water, all of the beans, the barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and porcini mushrooms, if using, in a slow cooker. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the slow cooker to break them down, and add them with their juices. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours.

Add the spinach and Parmesan cheese, and stir until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle each serving with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

I love a hearty bean soup and this one, with the different beans in, has awesome flavor. It was nice and thick with very flavorful broth from all the vegetables. Adding the spinach and cheese towards the end is a great way to add flavor and make it even more flavorful, but if you wanted to leave them out and just have the bean and barley soup I think it would be just as good. Serve it with some nice crunchy bread and you have a great vegetarian or meatless meal. The soup itself tasted even better the next day after it has had a chance to set and the flavors have melded together even more than the first day, so it has made for some great lunches as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another soup recipe as I will go over the nice corn chowder that we made this week. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

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