Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken barley soup with red chard

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It was kind of a lazy weekend for the P-Man and I. He did some work on the computer, but I mostly cooked and cleaned, and answered e-mails and tried to be witty on facebook and twitter. I made a roast chicken a week or so ago, and as I am not much of a gravy person, I always scrape whatever is left on the bottom of the roaster into a container and freeze it. I refer to this as 'soup base'. I had a container of  the 'base' and an odd cup of vegetable stock in the refrigerator left over from a previous recipe, and I had a crisper full of nice fresh vegetables, courtesy of SPUD. I decided to make some soup. It turned out extremely tasty. When the P-Man dragged himself away from the computer bemoaning the fact that I PROMISED to make spaghetti and meatballs...I gave him a bowl. After a few minutes of slurping, he said: "Did you actually make this right now... 'like' from scratch?" I nodded, and his gaze said it all...I am freaking amazing...and the soup was good too!

Here's' like' the recipe:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lg onion, chopped
1 large, or 2 medium carrots, chopped
1 lg bunch of red chard-stems chopped fine and leaves sliced 1 inch thick
handful of herbes de provence
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken soup base- you can also use store bought but will have to add a bit more seasoning
8 cups water
1 cup pearl or pot barley- I think pot barley has more fibre
2 medium sweet potatoes chopped- I used the orange ones-yams?
1 Tbsp soy sauce- adds depth of flavour

Put a large soup pot on medium high heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil, the chard stems, onion,carrot,salt and pepper. Turn veggies in the oil, and turn heat down to medium and cook until veggies are softened, stirring often. Add the soup base or broth, bay leaves, herbes de provence, water, and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, add barley, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes or so until the barley is tender. Add the sliced chard leaves and turn off the heat. After the chard has wilted, and soup has cooled a bit, check seasoning, and adjust.
I like my soup thick and hearty...but feel free to add more water if you like something more 'brothy'. I ate this soup for lunch today, and it was just as flavourful. I just added a bit of water and microwaved it. Delicious!
Hope you like it too!
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