May 7, 2012

Chicken Barley Soup

Most people love soup in the fall and winter. I love soup all year long. There is something incredibly comforting about eating a warm bowl of soup and it's perfect accompanied by a delicious loaf of homemade bread. My oldest son will go through weeks of picky eating where he will refuse to eat anything except homemade soup. I thought that I could trick him one week by serving canned soup, he guessed it right away and asked what was wrong with the soup that I was serving him. He's such a soup fan that for his birthday this year I told him he could have any meal that he wanted, he chose my homemade chicken noodle soup and whole-wheat bread. I love that child! So as you can guess we eat soup throughout the year, even when the heat goes up. Recently, Everyday Food Magazine had a recipe for Chicken Barley Soup which promised 7 grams of fat and 27 grams of protein all in under 45 minutes of total time.

This recipe has 11 ingredients. It takes 45 minutes of total cooking and prep, 25 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and made no ingredient modifications. As I always do with soup recipes I used homemade chicken-stock. I feel that the taste is better and it allows me to control the amount of salt in my recipes. I wasn't sure how large my sprigs of thyme should be so I used a medium amount so there was flavor, but not overboard. Make sure to adequately salt the soup, since I don't salt my stock it took a decent amount of salt to fully flavor. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

The flavor of this soup was delicious after it was salted fully. However, both my husband and I found that the chicken was almost unnecessary. The taste of the barley and spinach was more than enough to make the soup balanced and the chicken was just kind of there. I think that I made this recipe again I would make it without the chicken. I bet it would also be delicious made with vegetable stock if you are vegetarian or looking for a new meatless recipe. My main advice with this recipe is to make sure to add adequately salt. So many people think that a recipe doesn't have enough flavor because they have under-salted the dish, don't skimp on the salt in homemade soup. I promise even if you add what you think is a large amount of salt it is still far less than sodium than canned soup.

For the recipe go to Chicken Barley Soup.
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