Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sausage and Barley Soup

Goodness, I love Fall!!  We went up to the mountains for the weekend and the cool, crisp air was rolling in!  It made me long for a good bowl of soup.  So when we came home, I made up this tasty little concoction.  At the end of the recipe, I'll give you some ideas on how the soup can be altered.

1 pack of Johnsonville Smoked Andouille Sausages (cut in bite sized pieces)
1 onion diced
2 carrots (shredded or quartered and thinly sliced)
2-3 celery stalks diced
2 cups frozen or fresh Green beans
1 can diced fire roasted garlic tomatoes
3 tablespoons beef base
32 ounces bottle of V8 Juice
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
8 oz. uncooked barley

2-3 squashed (cut into 1/2 cubes)

  1. In a deep stock pot, cook onions, celery and carrots until the onions are translucent (about 6 minutes).  Remove them from the pot.
  2. Add bite sized sausage pieces to the hot pot.  Cook over high heat until the sausage is browned.  Some pieces may look burnt, but it's okay!  That adds a ton of flavor to the soup!
  3. Pour out any oil if you are worried about calories.  Since I'm not, I leave it in for more flavor!
  4. Add in the beef base and green beans. 
  5. Add enough water to cover the tops of the vegetables.  Let it come to a boil and stir to dissolve the beef base.
  6. Once the beef base is dissolved, add in all the other ingredients EXCEPT for the squash.
  7. Bring to a boil and add in the barley.  
  8. Turn the heat down to low so that the soup can simmer.  Cook for 40-45 minutes.
  9. At the 30 minute mark of cooking, add in the squash.  This will allow the squash to retain a little bite.  If you like squash to be completely cooked, add earlier in the process.
  10. Top with sour cream or cheese if desired and serve with some crusty bread.
This soup is heaven!  And as promised, this soup is versatile!  You can change things up however you want and it will be delicious!
  • I normally use a kielbasa for sausage soup.  It just so happened that the andouille sausage was on sale and it really made this batch of soup pop.
  • All the spices listed are optional!  Pick and choose as you see fit.  I love a hearty soup that is rich and flavor but it's not for everyone.
  • And, all the spices are my estimate of what I put in. I normally measure with my palm and throw it in the pot.  So if a measurement feels like it's to much, then reduce the amount. You can always add more later!
  • The beef base and water can be replaced with either chicken base and water, beef broth or chicken broth.  I get the beef base at Sam's Club.  I think it's better than beef bouillon.  But that would work as well.
  • All the veggies can be changed, but I recommend keeping the onions and celery because they add a lot of flavor to the base.
  • Use any kind of diced tomatoes that you want.  I had these in the pantry and they worked great.
  • You can change the V8 out for tomato juice.  But I love the fact that V8 thickens the soup and adds in extra servings of veggies for the family!
  • Barley absorbs a lot of water even after it's cooked.  You may need to add additional water, broth or V8 when reheating the soup!
Now go and make some yourself!  And don't forget to let me know what you think of it.

Update:  I also think and adobo chili pepper would be good in here, but the hubby and kids would not approve!  They might go for a jalapeno or two!

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