Soup, There It Is!

Ok, so the kids weren't all that psyched about tonight's dinner until I reminded them of this:

Then they got on board.

Anyway, you shouldn't need any convincing to be excited about this dinner:

Kirk made a chicken barley soup and some sage rolls, and it was all delicious — perfect for an icy-cold day between snowstorms.

Chicken Barley Soup

3 chicken breasts
2 stalks of celery
3 leeks
6 small parsnips
1 Tbs. peppercorns
1 lemon
dried herbs
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
2 large turnips
3/4 cup barley
8-10 sundried tomatoes 
1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

To make the quick stock, fill a large stockpot with 3 quarts of water, 3 chicken breasts, plus a stalk of celery, 2 leeks (cut into large chunks), 6 small parsnips, 1 Tbs. crushed peppercorns, 1/2 a lemon, and a handful of dried herbs of your choice (we used sage and thyme). 

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. 

Strain the broth and compost the vegetables, but reserve the chicken. Chop it up into nice, soup-sized chunks and set it aside.

Chop the remaining leek and celery stalk, and sauté in olive oil (you'll save a step if you do it right in the stockpot), along with chopped turnips (the turnips can be cubed kind of big — maybe a 1/2 inch cube).

To the sautéed vegetables, add back the broth and bring it to a boil. Add barley and sundried tomatoes and turn down to simmer. Cook soup for 50 minutes.

Add the chicken and frozen peas and cook long enough to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a small lemon wedge (you have half a lemon left, remember) to squeeze over the soup.

Mmm. That squirt of lemon juice and the sundried tomatoes really make this something special. It's such a great combination of hearty winter flavors and bright, summery flavors. Delicious!

The rolls are basic 60-Minute Rolls, but with some dried sage added to the dough. Very easy, but very good! Go ahead and make a double batch, since you'll want more to eat with the leftover soup. Makes a great lunch!


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