Chicken “Barleycorn” Soup

One of my mother’s favorite cookbooks when I was a kid was Jane Brody’s Good Food Book published in 1985. The subtitle is “Living the High-Carbohydrate Way,” which I love on so many levels. As food fads go in and out, I pay little attention to most of the hype. And as a (mostly) vegetarian, I can’t nutritionally buy into much of it anyway. So I choose to live “the high carbohydrate way” and enjoy it. This cookbook has a lot of great quickbreads and desserts, as well as some great salads. I also happen to love the soups, and this is where my vegetarianism falters. Here is the recipe for a favorite soup which I am making tomorrow (with organic, free range chicken of course).

Chicken “Barleycorn” soup

1 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken with giblets

6 cups water

4 cups chicken stock or canned broth

1 onion stuck with 4 cloves

3 carrots, divided

3 stalks of celery, divided

6 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, divided

1/2 cup barley, washed and drained

4 cups corn kernels, divided

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

salt & pepper to taste

1. in a large pot, combine the chicken and giblets, water, stock, onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, parsley, bay leaf, 1 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp thyme. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer the stock, covering the pot, for about 45 minutes.

2. remove the chicken from the stock and let cool. Strain the stock into a large bowl and separate out the fat.

3. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

4. Return stock to the pot, bring to a boil, and add barley and remaining basil and thyme. Simmer covered 45 minutes.

5. Puree 2 cups of the corn in 1 cup of stock. Dice remaining carrots and celery.

6. When the barley is cooked, add corn puree to pot along with remaining corn kernels, celery and carrots. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Add chicken, scallions, parsley, cumin, and hot sauce and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and enjoy!

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1 Comment »

  1. I can attest to the sheer amazing-ness of this recipe.

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