Winter Soups

This week my adorable, 9 year old bio terrorist took down all of us.  The bug he brought home moved efficiently through the family and then struck, to my horror, the office.  I turned off my computer, donned my apron, and lept into soup-making-hyperdrive.  We needed mending (and I needed to pay penance to the sweet people with whom I work!)  One soup features nutty, crunchy barley for our resident vegetarians and the other is a quick tweak on my favorite chicken noodle soup (found in Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style).  To both soups I added kale (my “Superfood” of the month.)  I hope you don’t find yourself needing to make these easy, tasty soups but rather find yourself able to prepare them as a pleasure on a cold day.

Vegetarian Barley and Vegetable Soup

Adapted from a recipe posted by Jolinda Hackett on About.com

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8-9 cups water or vegetable broth

  • 3/4 cup barley, uncooked

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 1 1/2 cups kale, minced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • 1 24 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley OR 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup or stock pot, sautee garlic and onions in olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes, until just barely soft. Carefully add vegetable broth and remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Allow to cook until barley is soft, about 30 minutes, preferably longer. Adjust seasonings as desired.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten

  • 1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in, skin on

  • Olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock

  • 1 ½ cups minced kale

  • 1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)

  • 1 cup medium-diced carrots (3 carrots)

  • 2 cups wide egg noodles

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350.  Rub the chicken with Olive Oil.  sprinkle with S&P.  Roast for 35 to 45 minutes.  When cooked and cooled , remove from bones, discard the skin and shred the chicken.

Meanwhile in a large pot, bring the broth to a boil and add the kale.  Let simmer with the lid on or 35-45 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and noodles. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, until the noodles are cooked. Add the cooked chicken meat and parsley and heat through.

And if things are really bad in your house:

I googled "vegetarian soup for the sick" and  found this wonderful recipe calling for parsnip, peppers, and kale.  It deserves trying as well!  http://theinventivevegetarian.blogspot.com/2012/02/vegetable-soup-for-sick.html