Colin and I essentially got together over soup. He was sick. I visited him in his dorm room.
Is anything more romantic?
I know, I know: if I were smart, I'd hold onto this recipe until the fall or, better yet, the depths of winter. But I had leftover cooked barley and shredded carrots from Clifton's visit, and a little leftover roast chicken, too. Since it hasn't been blazing hot here, this soup made a lovely little lunch. And a lovely little lunch, even with the insufferable alliteration, is often the last thing I treat myself to.
But not this time.
Does anyone else eat hot soup in the summer? I won't make it completely from scratch (you won't find me roasting bones or skimming stock this time of year), but when everything's right there in the fridge, prepped and ready, soup seems just the thing. A few cans of low-sodium broth in the pantry don't hurt either.
Plus, PLUS, if you work in an air-conditioned office, this throw-together version makes ideal thermos fare.
I'm just saying.
And for those of you who give me grief for developing too many desserts and breakfast items (you know who you are), I'll soon add this to the soup category on my new index page. It will cuddle up right next to the watermelon gazpacho. There you have it: two soups. One hot, one cold.
Take your pick, friends. Take your pick.
The point of this soup is that it's quick and it uses what you have. If you've got cooked rice, quinoa, or wheat berries, sub them for the barley. Roast pork or tofu? Swap in for the chicken. And add as many vegetables as you like. I mean, this is your soup, right?
Yield: Makes a flexible number of servings, but not more (probably) than four, but it depends on how much broth you use
a little olive oil
a little chopped yellow onion
a handful of shredded or diced carrots
a little celery, if you like (i don't)
a can or two of low-sodium chicken broth, or a few cups homemade stock
a few slivers of fresh ginger, if you're feeling zingy
a few scoops cooked barley
some shreds of leftover roast chicken
a leaf of two of Italian parsley, for pretty
In a small saucepan, warm a little olive oil and add the onion, carrot, and celery (if using). Saute for a few minutes until the vegetables soften. Pour in a can or two of broth, add the ginger, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, add the barley and chicken, and simmer just to warm everything through. Garnish with parsley.