|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!