Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken and barley soup recipe - serve with delicious homemade sweet potato rolls

You need to make the most of your food budget. Waste not, want not. I often achieve this goal by making soup. The latest soup we decided to make was Chicken and Barley -- and we got dinner for four and then lunch for four from this recipe

I cut the veggies rustically (read, I'm lazy today and didn't feel like cutting them uniformly. I decided to use rutabagas because I had seen a recipe for Chicken & Barley Soup with Sweet Potatoes, but I was out of sweet potatoes and had the rutabagas. Rutabagas can be found in the produce section at the grocery. They are also know as wax turnips. They have a purple-yellow skin, which you remove to cook. They are slightly sweeter than a purple-top turnip, but still have a turnip taste. They are very inexpensive, and keep for long periods when kept in a cool, dry place.
The soup smelled wonderful when cooking, and filled the house with the fragrant aroma of garlic, chicken and the wonderful nutty smell of barley. It tasted even better when served with sweet potato yeast rolls and a garden salad.

Chicken and Barley Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1" chunks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 small rutabaga (aka wax turnip), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 cups white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 cups cooked pearl barley (this is 1 cup dry pearl barley cooked according to package directions)
2 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
Total cost of recipe made this way: about $3.30
In 6-quart stock pot, brown chicken in oil (or butter) on medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and onion. Simmer on medium until garlic becomes soft enough to smash with the back of a wooden spoon. At this point, add celery, carrots & rutabagas (or potatoes). Add chicken or vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat. Once soup is bubbling, stir and reduce heat to low. Add cooked barley and water. Cover and allow to come back up to a bubble, stirring often. Keep covered and simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, until all veggies are soft and barley has thickened the soup to almost a stew.
Serves 4 to 6

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