Two weeks ago, I instituted “Try It Tuesday” in my house. Every Tuesday, I will try a brand-new recipe and share my reactions (as well as those of my husband, Jake, and my 18-month old son, Vincent) on WordPress. So, here you have it folks: the “Try It Tuesday” blog.
To be perfectly honest, my family’s impending move motivated this week’s recipe. I am currently trying to use the odds and ends I have collected in my cabinets – like half a box of barley. I began with a recipe for Spring Chicken and Barley Soup and simplified the ingredients list to fit both my cooking preferences and my husband and son’s aversion to peas. After about 45 minutes of prep and cooking, I put steaming bowls of Chicken, Barley and Kale Soup on the table.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 large, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup barley, uncooked
1- 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
½ a bouquet of kale, washed and chopped
- Begin by heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery stalk. Cook for 4 minutes. Peel and grate the garlic. Add to the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the chopped chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour the broth and barley into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium and add the tomatoes and kale. Cook for at least 10 minutes more. Continue cooking if you prefer the barley to be softer.
I was uncertain what Vincent’s reaction would be. From day to day he will switch between food explorer and picky eater. However, he always enjoys kale and usually likes cooked tomato, so I held some hope. That hope did not disappoint. Vincent devoured the barley without hesitation. He also enjoyed swishing his hands in the broth at the bottom of his soup bowl. A win for moms of toddlers!
My reaction to the soup paralleled my son’s. I always enjoy the texture combination of kale and tomato, and the tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano adds a pleasant richness to the broth. To those who feel soup is too light for dinner, the chicken and barley give the soup real substance. All in all, a good dish for a cloudy, breezy spring evening.
Next week, I’ll spare my husband, who knows what food he likes and likes food he knows, and try a new recipe at lunch time. Vegetarian chili anyone?