Everyone knows Beef Barley Soup but why not Chicken Barley Soup?
I love barley, in soup, salads, as a side dish….
You can use a whole fryer or any chicken parts to make stock. If you use a whole chicken you should have stock left to freeze for other uses.
The barley that I get is quick cooking and is done in about 20 minutes. Regular pearl barley takes about 45 minutes. Adjust the recipe accordingly.
Chicken Vegetable Barley Soup
Total time: 120 minutes
- The stock:
- 1 chicken breast, bone in or not
- 2 chicken thighs with legs, bone in
- the tops from a bunch of celery or 2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
- 1 carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, cut into chunks
- bouquet garni
- 8 cups water
- salt or chicken base/stock cubes, or use some chicken stock instead of water
- The soup:
- 4 carrots, sliced into half circles
- 4 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 can sweet corn, 15oz (450gr), rinsed and drained
- 2 cups (15oz, 450gr), chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup pearl barley
- 3 – 4 cups cooked chicken more or less – from making stock
- 6 – 8 cups (48 – 64oz, 1440 – 1920ml) of the chicken stock
- The stock:
- Put chicken, vegetables, herbs and water in soup pot or Dutch oven.
- Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour if using breasts, 2 or 3 hours if using a whole chicken.
- When done, strain stock, discarding vegetables and reserving chicken.
- If time allows, chill stock and remove fat.
- Refrigerate chicken if not making soup immediately.
- The soup:
- Bring stock to a boil over medium heat.
- Add all vegetables and barley to stock.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes – may need to reduce heat a bit.
- Remove chicken from bones and cut into small pieces.
- Add tomatoes, chicken to soup. Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer.
- Now: Too thick? Add more stock. Too thin? Add 1/3 cup vermicelli (cooks fast and thickens nicely). Serve.
As long as I was looking into how life is different here I thought I would pass on a few more bits.
One does not smile at strangers here. When you are walking down the street, for example, you don’t smile at the people you meet. They’ll think you’re a bit daft and maybe cross the street to avoid you.
On the other hand, you do wish strangers ‘Bon Appétit’ if you happen to pass them while they are eating, whether in a restaurant or a picnic in the park.
Speaking of eating, one must remember to keep one’s hands on the table, not in your lap as Americans are taught. Not your elbows, mind, but your hands. Resting your wrists on the table is correct.
And, while most French people will eat a hamburger or an orange with a knife and fork, bread served with a meal is kept on the table, not the plate and pieces broken off and eaten with your fingers, without butter, of course.
Please do not ask for a ‘doggie bag’. They will be appalled at the very idea! Portions are meant to be appropriately sized and the food eaten as served. On the other hand, I had the dogs with us in the car one day and asked for the scraps from our plates for them. Since dogs have such an elevated status here I was presented with enough bones and doggie scraps to keep them happy for a week, They did watch when I left to make sure the girls got there share on the spot.
One last bit that suits me very well as I have spent my entire life running late…..
The French Quarter.
It was explained to me early on that it’s considered impolite to arrive on time when invited to lunch or dinner. Ten to fifteen minutes after the appointed time is proper.
At least there is one thing that I was already doing correctly….