Friday, March 28, 2014

FFWD ~ Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India


FFWD ~ Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

I come from a long line of soup makers.  My maternal grandmother Immie would make a large pot of chicken soup every Sunday, to the delight of her family. Sunday afternoons were when the family would congregate at her house to eat and socialize with each other!  My paternal grandmother Susan was known for her delectable vegetable beef soup. Wanting to please her new husband, my mother had my aunt write down the recipe on a scrap of paper, which I still have. Back then there was no formal recipe…it was a little of this and a little of that.  However, her soup always came out perfect! My mother-in-law’s specialty was Pea soup, although she made a great Vegetable Beef soup as well! When I first started dating my husband he brought me to his mom’s house for lunch, where I was served her wonderful Pea soup. I still remember the thick texture and aroma of that soup. My grandmother Susan and my mother-in-law always added parsnips to their soups. My mother-in-law once told my son, that parsnips were her secret ingredient to a mouthwatering vegetable soup.  In my memory, I can still see my grandmother Immie, at her old Formica kitchen table, chopping her onions, carrots and celery on an aged worn, wooden cutting board. The board distressed with knife marks. She would then add the chopped veggies to her soup for a prolonged simmer. The aroma would permeate her house.  Wonderful memories of these sensational cooks!

Thick and delicious

 Exotic and flavorful

One thing I learned, from all these creative soup makers, was that soup should simmer for hours. That way the flavors meld together, making a most incredible concoction! Someday, I will tell you about my first soup…but that’s a story for another day! Today is French Friday and it’s time to talk about our pick of the week!  Can you guess what it is? If you guessed soup…you’re right! We’re making “Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India”.  From start to finish, it takes a little more than an hour! Well, there goes everything I learned from those great ladies! The recipe is for a basic chicken soup, using canned chicken broth and no chicken…forgive me Immie!

I did go a bit rogue on this one though, hoping my husband would enjoy it. First, sautéing a few very meaty chicken thighs, along with the chopped carrots, parsnip and aromatics to make the soup more substantial.  After about five minutes, I added the Indian spices. The recipe calls for starting with ½ teaspoon of turmeric, and ¾ teaspoon of Garam Masala, red pepper flakes to taste and of course salt and pepper.  The amount of spice is pretty substantial.  I was afraid if I made it too spicy, Bill wouldn’t eat it.  Here’s were I went rogue for the second time, and added just a very small pinch of each spice!  After the veggies were softened, I added the broth and stirred in the barley. Before serving, I took out the chicken thighs, pulled off the meat, and added it back to the soup! The soup was lovely and exotic tasting.  The spices reminded me of the rijsttafel we enjoyed when we visited Holland. However, I am glad I cut the spice.  It was just right for me, with only a pinch added. 

I really enjoyed this exotic tasting soup, which was a good thing, because I’ve been eating it alone all week! Bill did not like the sweet spicy taste, even though I thought it was subtle. To his credit, he ate it the first night I served it although, he was very clear about not eating it again! Win some…lose some! Happy Friday everyone!

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook “Around My French Table” or at the Chicago Tribune where it has been published. To see what the other Doristas thought of this soup check it out here.

The chicken was a great addition
Mouthwatering!!

27 comments:

  1. Ah yes, I am so with you on that Kathy, cutting down on the spices. I suppose the spices is all you need for flavor and the slow simmering or using homemade stock would be superfluous. It has an exotic look about it and you photos are wonderful as always. But I so agree with the ladies of your family about soup cooking. I cut my efforts though, I make my stock in a pressure cooker and that is the start of all my soups. I make soup almost every day, my husband likes his daily dose. I had to laugh, mine wouldn't have eaten this beyond the first day either.

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  2. Yeah, I wonder if Bill would have been tempted had I added chicken. Good move!!!

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  3. When soup is my full meal I do like a little more protein in it so the addition of chicken seemed a natural for me as well.

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  4. I don't know what we would do without cartons of chicken broth. I am so use to having it around for
    everything. Your soup looks wonderful with the addition of the chicken. Hubby liked this more than I did,
    I did not care for the spice. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  5. Chicken. This needed a little something extra! Chicken and a dollop of yogurt!

    Have a great weekend.

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  6. I love this soup Kathy and look perfect and delicious!!

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  7. We were going to add chicken, and then decided against it. Will probably do that next time, though. Looks heartier!

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  8. I like the idea of going rogue with chicken in this - it makes it a complete meal. My earliest memories of soup were gross condensed stuff out of a can that we had when there was nothing else - hence my jaded view of soup!

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  9. I love barley, Kathy. This is one comforting and beautiful soup.

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  10. I come from a long line of soup makers too... my grandmothers house always smelled of a soup simmer. I never thought about the fact that I always make my soup early in the day. I couldn't image making it and serving it immediately.. maybe that's why I make good soup. It is the waiting.

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  11. Dear Kathy, now this looks like a wonderful version of this barley soup - tender chicken certainly sounds like a wonderful and flavorful addition to this dish! How nice that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe so much. Being careful with the spices was probably a good idea - they added quite a punch to the soup!
    Wonderful post, dear friend!
    Have a great weekend!
    P.S.: I added the proper links to Mary´s FB page for the Veg Everyday cookbook - the only difference being that one is an US edition, the other one a Britsih edition - it would be wonderful if you could join us for this project!

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  12. Hi Kathy!
    Your veggie barley soup post is making me want to make soup right now-love your memories around this oh so cozy bowl of comforting food-will have add yet another recipe to try from Around My French Table ;)

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  13. Lovely looking soup, the colour is so beautiful :D
    And there are so many delicious vegetables in it!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. Kathy, I never thought to add chicken. Dorie should add that as a Bonne Idee to the next edition! Your bowl of soup look tempting. Had a lovely meetup with Mardi over a fabulous dinner. I reminded me of the wonderful connections we made in Seattle. We definitely need another Dorista reunion on the east coast. And, I'll let you know next time I'm visiting my in-laws in NJ so we won't have to wait that long. Have a great weekend.

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  15. This soup looks wonderful. I may have to look up the recipe since I am searching for ideas for leftover parsnips. Good tip on the spice--I'm sure my husband would be in the same camp.

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  16. I love your soup history! You indeed come from a long line of soup makers and I will be looking forward to your story about your first soup. The addition of chicken was a good idea. I will follow your advice for using the rest of my barley. I think I will make my first RV trip alone the first week of April. I am staying very close to home until I see how it goes. I'm kind of scared and kind of thrilled. There will be reports! Hope your weekend is a good one Kathy!

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  17. I enjoy reading your stories, Kathy. You really did grow up surrounded by a wonderful extended family. Lucky you. I think chicken is a great addition and something I will try in the future to make a more substantial meal - perhaps letting it simmer all day in the crock pot. But, the barley could only be added towards the end. Those little babies do suck up the liquid. Hopefully someday you will frame your Grandma's recipe and give it to a son or grandson. Those get lost in the shuffle from generation to generation if that isn't done, I've found. Nice post. Nice story. Nice soup.

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  18. Gorgeous soup, and gorgeous photos, Kathy! Love the linens and silverware! ~ David

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  19. I really wanted to make this soup and may yet over the next couple of days. I taught a cooking class with a barley soup last year and really like the idea of switching it up with the Indian spices. I love the stories of your grandma's and inlaw's soup making and you are so lucky to have that scrap of paper with the recipe on it. My grandmother was a great cook and baker but alas, no recipes! Lovely photos Kathy!

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  20. Kathy - your soup looks wonderful. I like the addition of the chicken.

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  21. I always enjoy a well cooked soup and you are absolutely right a soup needs its time to have all the aromas released! You made one fine soup Kathy!

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  22. I absolutely adore a good soup! There's really nothing better. This looks like total comfort food!

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  23. Thanks for this recipe. I love the idea of making healthy dishes.

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  24. Happy Tuesday, Kathy!!!
    I love your soup memories:) I have a few myself:) I have goteen into the habit of using the box stocks too but I'm really thinking about just spending a day making my own vegetable stock and chicken stock and sticking it in the freezer. It does take a while for it to simmer to perfection but oh my, it is so worth it. And yes, the secret ingredient is always parsnips, lol...

    Your Vegetable Barley Soup sounds just right. So sorry hubby didn't LOVE it. I wonder if you could have frozen some. It sure looks and sounds like something I would love to try, right now! Thank you so much for sharing the story (still waiting on the "other" story:) Kathy...

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  25. Kathy, this is my most favorite soup! Vegetable soup; added chicken, barley, and as spicy as I can get it, but only for me! Try to cut down on spices for rest of the family, especial for the grandchildren. There nothing like homemade soups, and your soup is sooo gorgeous, and mouthwatering delicious...I wish I could get a bowl of it right now!

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  26. My mother is that kind of cook - no recipes, but perfect every time. It sounds like you have wonderful cooks in your background that inspired you to become one, too. I think Kevin can sympathize with Bill, a little. He liked the soup, but he doesn't like leftovers. By the third bowl, he was happy to learn that the soup was finally gone!

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  27. I love the idea of making chicken soup every Sunday. That's a tradition I could definitely get behind.

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