The past few days the snow has been gracefully falling and I am totally ok with that. Want to know why, well Ill tell you ;) I'm ok with it because it means I will most likely be wrapped up in my favorite blanket, finding any excuse not to feel bad about reading an entire book in a day and filling my belly with warm treats. One of those has been a variety of soups and since we are currently living with my in-laws we've been making dinners for the whole family, which is so fun since we all have different "go-to" meals. So when everyone was "ooing" and "awing" I made sure to make note of this cold weather treat.
CHICKEN & VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP
- 1 3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (I cooked a whole chicken and then shredded the mean and made stock out of the bones from this recipe)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 4)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 4)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (1 lg)
- 2 clove garlic, minced (more if preferred, I always double because we LOVE our garlic over here)
- 4 cans low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if desired (I made my own from this recipe)
- 3/4 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp of each; dried rosemary, thyme, & marjoram
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup slightly packed, chopped fresh parsley (sub 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- optional 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery & onion, saute until onions are translucent then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in chicken broth, barley, bay leaves, sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and season with salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 50 -60 mins.
Stir in chicken, parsley and lemon juice. Heat through and serve warm. As the soup rests it will absorb more liquid so add more chicken broth to thin if desired.
*Note: the best thing about this recipe is that it is a "vegetable" soup so in my mind that means its ok to throw in whatever veggies I have laying in the fridge. Tonight I added cauliflower, spinach to the dish :)