There is nothing better on a cold blustery day than to have a warm bowl of delicious soup, wouldn't you agree?
Well, maybe it could be better if you added the fact that you also were fighting a nasty cold. Then it would be doubly better.
This week, not one, not two but three of our family members (including yours truly) came down with a nasty bug. Oh, we vied for the best seat on the couch, consumed copious amounts of tea, crackers and cough drops. We needed cozy soup to keep us warm and nurse us back to health.
I needed to have a recipe that would be easy and would basically require as little effort as possible to prepare. I came up with the following soup recipe. Traditionally, this is made with a beef broth, but my daughter does not like it, so I used a chicken stock base instead. To really make it easy and give a little movie time, I put everything in a crockpot, but you could very easily make this on the stove.
Easy Chicken Barley Soup
1 box (32 oz) Chicken Stock (I used Kitchen Basics for this recipe)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (I used a steam bag version)
1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can water (use the tomato can)
1/2 cup Quick Barley
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken bullion cube
1 tsp each, salt, pepper
2 tsp garlic salt
In microwave, steam-cook frozen vegetables according to directions. Meanwhile, in pan over medium heat, saute in oil, onions, garlic, celery & carrots until tender. Add tomatoes and cooked vegetables to a crockpot. Add in chicken stock, water, bullion cube and barley. Add spices. Stir to mix and then cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
This is a very versatile soup. If it is not salty enough, add a little bit more garlic salt, or sprinkle a bit of Pecorino Romano cheese. If you would want a meat soup, then by all means add 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken.
I served this with homemade bread and it was just perfect.