Month: March 2015

Vegetable and Barley Soup

 

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Once you have your stock made; any soup is an option. I have a few soups listed under Recipes or there are a few hundred million listed online to choose from.

By the way, while I’m here, I’ve discovered something about Pinterest. Pinterest is incredibly wonderful for some things but not good for food. From time to time, I’ve found something interesting on Pinterest that I want to make and it never works out. I realize that’s because people are pinning things to try; they aren’t tried and tested recipes. Maybe I’m a bit late to the game but I thought I’d share my “duh” moment with you. Food52.com is a great site that is way more reliable. As is allrecipes.com and epicurious.com.

A vegetable and barley soup is a hearty meal that will boost your immune system and keep you satiated. It has beans in it, making it a complete protein; you can add in some whole grain bread to soak up the bowl. Add a little butter and you have a delicious meal.

Vegetable and Barley Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced (reserve leaves separately)
3 bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
28oz can plum tomatoes, with juice
¾ cup pot barley
3 cups thinly sliced kale or spinach (optional)
19oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Dash hot sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper(to taste)

Method:

Heat oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add bay leaves, thyme, stock, tomatoes with juices and barley. Stir, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If using, stir in kale or spinach and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until leaves have wilted. Stir in beans, celery leaves, hot sauce and seasoning.

Discard bay leaves and thin soup if necessary with more stock or water. Raise heat to high and cook for about 2 minutes or until beans are warmed through.

Recipe adapted from The Toronto Star

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Happy March 1st!

homemade-chicken-broth5

It’s finally here. March is finally here. Just one more week until we “spring forward”. Now there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Although this is welcome news, we still have a long way to go and getting through the Spring we need to ensure that our immune system is up to scratch to protect from those Springtime bugs that come up with the flowers as the temperature rises.

The best way to improve the the immune system is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. Garlic, onions, mushrooms, ginger and honey are all fabulous. As well, some spices such as oregano, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric.

How to incorporate as many of these as possible is to make a soup, perfect for this time of year. Using your own stock is even better and will fix up any sniffles over the next few weeks.

Start a day earlier by roasting a chicken. A whole lot easier than it sounds. In a baking dish, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and place the chicken on top. In the cavity, put in some salt, pepper, lemon quarters and whole garlic cloves. On the outside, rub some salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil under the skin and on top of the skin. Cover with foil and place in a preheated oven (350ºF) for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is browned and the juices run clear.

Save all the bones from the roast chicken. If you are not making the stock right away, save the bones in the fridge. When you are ready, place the bones in a pot and add in a carrot, roughly chopped onion, garlic cloves, salt and pepper and whole sprigs of parsley. Cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for one hour. Cool and strain into a jar and keep in the fridge.

This is the best stock you can use for soup, a guaranteed flavourful soup full of immune boosting nutrients.

Top up your immunity further by taking a good quality probiotic in the morning, a drop of vitamin D (1000IU) and a teaspoon of pharmaceutical grade fish oil.

Then. Get Ready for Spring!