Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chicken and Barley Soup

Have you ever tried barley?  No?  Well you are missing out.  We love barley.  I tend to replace the rice in a few recipes and put this in. It's got a delicious slightly nutty taste and the texture is amazing.

For this soup, I actually used left over turkey and chicken stock that I had made previously.  You can use a pre-cooked fryer and store bought stock if you choose.  And I think this would go well with either chicken, turkey or beef. I originally made this for a group of 9 folks.  Feel free to halve the ingredients.

Meat from one whole chicken
1 bag of barley
4 chilies (use chilies in adobo sauce)
Olive oil or butter
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 large onion - thinly diced
2 stalks of celery - thinly diced
2 carrots finely shredded
8-10 cups of stock (just a guess it may take less)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can of evaporated milk or heavy cream
Salt and pepper
  • In a deep stock pot (I prefer my non-stick one), saute onions and celery in olive oil or butter for 2-3 minutes.  
  • Add in garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.  
  • While this is cooking, cut the chillies in half and take out the ribs and seeds.  Chop the chilies into small pieces and set aside. (You can reduce the number of chilies if you do not like the soup too spicy.) 
  • Once the onions are translucent, add in the bag of barley. Stir it for a few moments.
  • Add tomato paste.
  • Turn the burner up to high and slowly add in the broth until it's a half inch above the barley. Stir it all together.
  • Add in 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.  Taste the broth and add more if desired.
  • Cook the barley for 40 minutes (per package directions).  Add more broth as needed.  You can stir the barley if desired.
  • About 10 minutes before the barely is finished, stir in chilies and carrots. Add in some of the adobo sauce from the can (if you can take the heat).
  • Shred the meat from the chicken. When the barely is complete, add it to the pot.
  • Add 1-2 cups more broth to make it soupy.
  • Add in 1/2 cup to a cup of cream or canned milk.  
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
I think I may have added in some frozen corn when I made this the first time, but I can't remember.  I only added the milk because I put in 4 chilies and it was to spicy for Daniel and Sarah.  The milk helped to calm it down some.  I guess that makes the milk optional!  Be careful about the adobo sauce in the soup.  This stuff is spicy!  And feel free to cut the carrots into larger pieces and add them earlier in the recipe. My clan will not eat carrots unless they are so small that you can't pick them out of a meal!

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