Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mexican Inspired Barley Soup

On snowy afternoons like this I get creative.  I only use ingredients I have on hand.  On normal weather days it's easy for me to run to the nearest grocery when I just need one or two more things to complete a recipe.  Not today.

Today I experimented making a soup that my husband loved so much, he's asked me to make it again after finishing his third bowl.  Thank goodness I took the time to write down the measurements.  Sometimes I just make stuff with a pinch of this, a sprinkle of that, and it never turns out the same.

I was going to leave this as a basic chicken broth recipe using thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf.  As I looked out to the snow-covered yard and yearned to be back in Cozumel, I thought the best way to add some Mexican sunshine was to add it to our lunch.

Making your own chicken stock is easier than it may sound. It gives purpose to the meaty bits from the bones instead of just throwing it away; and, the bones are what gives stock that extra hearty flavor.  But, I'm guessing store-bought stock will do the trick.

This recipe can easily be altered to a VEGAN dish.

You will need:
6 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
(that's about a box and a half of 32oz stock containers from the grocery)
makes about six 1 cup servings

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 carcass of a store-bought rotisserie chicken, including leftover skin and the juices at the bottom
4 stalks of celery, plus all the leaves in the middle
1/2 bunch of flat parsley
2 garlic cloves, crushed, sliced or diced
1 large onion, quartered with skin left on
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1/2 teaspoon of Ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 lime
Salt and Pepper to taste
3/4 cup of diced carrots
3/4 cup frozen corn
3/4 cup barley

Broken tortilla chips or homemade fried tortilla slices (optional)

To make the chicken stock, place the carcass in a stock or sauce pot and fill with water until it is fully submerged.  Place on stove and turn onto the highest setting.  Add the remaining stock ingredients and get it to boil.  Turn down to medium-low (about 3-4 on a dial) for a medium simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.  Turn down to low for a slow simmer for another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, until the onions layers have separated and translucent and the celery is translucent and flimsy.  The liquid should also be reduced between a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch.

Use a large bowl and strainer to separate the stock from the ingredients.  Pour stock into a smaller pot.

Add the chili powder and cumin.  Squeeze in the lime juice.  Warm the stock for 10 minutes on low and stir.  After 10 minutes, taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.  You can even add in some extra lime, ancho or cumin if you want.  The taste is up to you.

When the broth has the flavor you want, add the carrots, corn and barley.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and turn the stove to low.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

Top with crushed tortilla chips (optional), or, make your own:

Slice a flour or corn tortilla.  Place in hot oil, fry for 2-3 minutes or until brown, place on a plate with a paper towel to drain remaining oil.

1 comment:

  1. I think I will make the vegan version of this SOON! :)