|Barley makes a chicken soup both hearty and healthy|
|Written by Launie Kettler|
|Sunday, 13 November 2011 17:00|
Mmmmm, barley. Barley is a hidden star in this soup. The leeks preen and the chicken poses, but the barley quietly ties it all together, making for a hearty, filling soup recipe.
As we head into comfort food season - when so many other foods are packed with cheeses and rich sauces and the holidays reshape waistlines - barley is also a good thing to keep around for its health benefits. It's loaded with anti-oxidants, fiber and vitamins. And even as it's low in calories, it still packs a nutty flavor and texture.
This is a classic, humble soup – nearly a peasant soup – but I wouldn't be ashamed to serve it for company, alongside crusty bread. Adding sherry vinegar at the end brightens and balances the flavors. Making your own stock from leftover chicken bones and cuttings elevates the soup even higher, not to mention saving money and being a healthier alternative to store-bought stocks.
Chicken and Barley Soup with Vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 small carrots, sliced
4 stalks of celery, sliced
2 large leeks, sliced (white part only)
1/3 cup of white wine
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups cooked chicken, cubed
6 cups of chicken broth
¾ cup of barley
¼ cup of fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
In a large pot saute the carrots, celery and leeks together with the olive oil and salt and pepper. When the vegetables have softened add the white wine and chicken. Stir for one minute and then add the chicken broth. Bring the soup up to a boil and add the barley and dill. Reduce heat and cover for 25 minutes. Once the barley is done add the sherry vinegar.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)