i am just going to get right to the barley and chicken vegetable soup i made yesterday so i can get through this first blog. it’s so hard to know where to start, jumping in seems easiest.
disclaimer 1 :: i apologize up front if you are a “but i really just need specifics” kind of cook. you might want to just stop now. none of the soups i make ever taste the same from one time to the next because 1, i don’t have a specific recipe for it or 2, i had/have a recipe, but have it memorized enough that i don’t want to waste the time getting it out and then spend the time actually measuring things out for it. yes, i come up with some not-quite-as-good batches sometimes, but my husband was a bachelor until the ripe age of 35. he’d eat “bbq sauce on pine bark” if a pretty girl (me) made it for him. and, it builds character in the kids to eat things they don’t like (right?)
disclaimer 2 :: the base for the soup was actually a mistake, i was trying to make a version of this marinara sauce but either i didn’t let it simmer long enough or just had the tomato/water ratio WAY off, but it never thickened (one of those “probably should have followed the recipe better” times, but eh?), so i went ahead and put it in jars and figured it would be a good soup base. that said, i have no idea how to make a soup base for this, so i am just taking things from other recipes and putting in what i think would work or looks good to me. personally, i like my failed sauce because i can not stand chunks of stewed tomatoes and i had put the sauce in the blender. yak, my jaw is getting warm thinking of stewed tomatoes.
6 c chicken broth (or other kind of broth would likely work)
2 large fresh tomatoes
bag of frozen mixed veggies (i used bird’s eye peas, carrots, corn and green bean mix because i don’t like lima beans when they are hard, but by the time they are cooked properly, the rest is a mushy mess)
1 c cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 t celery salt
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper (optional, of course, but i tend to put a little bit in almost everything)
fresh cracked pepper to taste
(this is really just a ratio of the spices, i have no idea how much i used. i normally just pour spices into their lids and then sprinkle them into whatever i’m making as it cooks and as the mood takes me)
1 – 1 1/2 c cooked barley – i don’t really know how much i put in, but i cooked one cup according to the package (rinsed; boiled it for 45-50 minutes) and then it ended up being WAY too much, i guess i didn’t get the “cooked barley will expand to FOUR TIMES it’s size” part of the instructions. but i did catch the “barley can be cooked and frozen to be used later” part, so half of what i made is in my freezer.
ok, put it all in a pot and let it simmer. add more water/broth as needed. and then a little more spices to compensate.
and i served it with a slice of lemon to squeeze over it. yum.
and, a little bonus – i just heard on dr. oz last night (don’t ask. jimmy puts it on every night when he has the remote) (and for those of you who know him, i’m serious) that you should eat food super high in fiber to keep parasites from attaching themselves to your colon. and one day i might have recovered enough to blog about why that is important to our family.