Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chicken and Barley Soup with Leeks

My mother-in law wasn't feeling good yesterday, so we decided soup would be the most comforting thing for supper instead of Korean food, which is what I'm going to cook tonight.  

We had two leftover leeks from the night before and chicken, so I went on an internet search for a chicken leek soup . . . and I found a few that sounded really tasty!  This is the site I got the recipe from, but then I altered it based on what we had and by taste:  
 Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (I want to try this with a whole chicken next time.  Then you wouldn't have to buy chicken broth.  Just simmer it all day)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Margarine (I used dairy-free margarine)
  • 10 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 8 ounce mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper (start off with 1/2 tsp if you don't love pepper like I do)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 whole leeks, diced
  • 1 cup pearled barley, uncooked
Get your dutch oven out or a big pot and melt the butter in the oil on medium/high.  Brown the chicken breasts.  (I used two chicken breasts and two small thighs, because that was all I had) 
 Pour in 10 cups of chicken broth.  Cover and let simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour.
 While the chicken was cooking, I got the rest of my ingredients together.  That way, when Dustin woke up from his nap, I could easily pour everything into the pot without having to worry about chopping anything.
 After 45 minutes to an hour, pour in the mushrooms, celery, carrots, and seasoings.  Cover and simmer for anoter 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Cover and keep warm.
Add the leeks and barley.  Simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is nice and soft.
Stir the chicken back into the soup, turn off the stove, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.  This will help the juices soak back into the meat . . . and it will help cool the soup down.
Serve with some crackers and enjoy a very filling, comforting meal! . . . This makes a lot, so there will be plenty for leftovers too!

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