Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Soup - Chicken Vegetable & Barley

Fall always seems to be soup weather at our home. I took this soup along with some homemade French Bread to a sick neighbor earlier this week. I had been excited to try out a new recipe, but as it turned out, I read the recipe (general guideline) and ended up going a complete different direction - (largely due to the fact that I was kept looking at a picture of minestrone soup on the opposite page!)

My husband and kids really enjoyed this soup and I loved that I could use some that fresh fall garden produce, as well as the twist on traditional chicken noodle soup.

Note - Plan at least 40-60 minutes for the barely to cook.

1 1/2 c. pearled barley
4 c. water
2-3 c. cooked chicken and juices
1-2 c. chopped zucchini
1-2 c. chopped carrots
1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove (diced)
1 T. chicken bouillon (I recommend Knorr, chicken flavored bouillon found in the Mexican section at the grocery store)
1 T. olive oil
1 t. basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse barley and add to boiling water along with 1 t. salt. Once the water returns to boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for approximately 40-60 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook chicken and prepare vegetables. Once barley is cooked set aside.

In a large dry pan, heat basil for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently to bring out the flavor. Add oil. Once oil is heated, add remaining chopped vegetables, and garlic. Heat, stirring frequently until vegetables are crisp, yet tender.

Fill a large pot halfway 1/3 with water and add bouillon. Once water is heated, strain any barley juice into water. Add 1 1/2 c. cooked barley, cooked and diced chicken and vegetables.

Add liquid as necessary. If a thicker broth is desired, mix 1-2 T. cornstarch into 1/3 c. cool water. Slowly mix into broth and continue to heat stirring constantly.

Salt and pepper to taste

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