. Citrus Barley and Chicken Soup Seriously Soupy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Citrus Barley and Chicken Soup

 Citrus Barley and Chicken Soup—Adventures with Barley-Part One

Citrus Barley and Chicken Soup

You may be asking yourself, what exactly prompted me to make a chicken soup with citrus? Well, basically the answer to that would be barely. I love this hearty grain and I especially wanted to test out a soup with it since one of my dearest, but not so nearest friends-Creative Flutter created a recipe using it as well. So instead of featuring one barley recipe this week I thought it would be interesting to feature two recipes that used a similar combination of ingredients, but that were prepared in two totally different ways. Where the citrus part came from, I haven't the faintest idea. I did know that I wanted to create a twist on a chicken soup and lemon chicken in a soup sounded interesting to me, so that was it. I then decided to include oranges, cranberries, and lemons as the base of the soup, hoping to create a tangy/semi-sour/savory soup with a zip without having any idea if this was even possible! Although I didn't know what the concoction would turn into, I enjoyed the process of trying to figure out the right level of citrus/sour, while attempting make it well, taste good! Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this tangy and refreshing little citrus soup, although other people (Lonnie Feldman-occasional soupy writer) begged to defer by stating "I don't get why these flavors are put together." Oh well, to soup his own. Be sure to check out another variation of a chicken and barley soup tomorrow by the extraordinary Creative Flutter. Until then, here's how to create your own citrus soup:

1 whole chicken
6-8 cups of water
2-3 cups of barley
1 zucchini, cut up
2-3 oranges, cut up into thick strips
2 lemons, cut up into thick strips
1/4 bag of fresh cranberries
1 leek, cut up
1 yellow onion, diced into squares
1 stalk of celery, cut up
1/2 bag of carrots, cut up
1 parsnip, cut up
dill, bunched together by string
parsley, bunched together by string
approximately 1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

Essentially, you are beginning by making a chicken broth. I used Grandma Fay's recipe, but added leeks (had them on hand) and used a whole chicken (as opposed to chopping it up like I did in the past). Let the broth cook for about 2-3 hours, checking on it periodically. I found I had to keep the flame low and add some more water.  Then, cut up and add the oranges and lemons to the pot. While the soup is boiling, start boiling another pot of water (approximately 2 cups) where the cranberries will cook. While they cook the cranberries will make a popping sound as the berries release, so it's best to keep this pot covered as it cooks. I also didn't include the cranberries in the soup pot because I didn't want to add a red color to the soup, but if that doesn't bother you then no additional pot is required. When the cranberries are finished (approximately 10 minutes) add it to the soup pot, along with the barley and let that cook for another 30 minutes. I also added additional carrots, zucchini, and onions since they got very soft after cooking for 2-3 hours. This is completely optional though. Then add salt, pepper, and taste. The soup will be tangy, which is the intent, but if you prefer something a little more subtle, you can add more water and salt to dull some of the citrus. You can also opt to use less lemons/oranges if you like. Lower flame and enjoy!!!

P.S. Although I used chicken, there is no reason why you couldn't omit that part and use a veggie stock. Remember most recipes can be made vegetarian, you just have to tweak them a bit...

Seriously Soupy Serena

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