Chicken Noodle Barley Soup
I love soup season! I prefer a hearty soup that could be a meal and I have created a chicken-noodle-barley soup that is the best I’ve ever had.
Before you even start, this recipe needs a bay leaf and some barley – quick cooking is fine. Sage or poultry seasoning makes it great, but you could do without. Not everybody keeps these ingredients so I want you to be forewarned.
Start with a roasted chicken – homemade or store bought, whichever is best for you, and remove most of the meat and set it aside for the soup.
Put the carcass and skin and some veggies (onion, carrots, celery) in a crockpot or stockpot, cover with water and cook up to 24 hours to make a beautiful chicken stock.
(I hope it doesn’t bother you that I don’t do measurements. There is no need to with soup! Just taste and adjust.)
Take it up a notch: While the stock is cooking, I make a pie crust and bake it flat on a cookie sheet until it is golden brown. This serves as a yummy cracker-biscuit topping for the soup once served. It gives the soup a pot-pie feel.
Making the soup:
The base is equal parts diced onion, and sliced carrots, celery, and 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms, white button or baby portabellas *not canned mushrooms!
Saute the above ingredients in a large soup pot in a bit of olive oil or chicken fat until they are tender and starting to brown.
Add 6-8 cups of strained chicken stock (don’t want any tiny bones!)
If it needs more liquid, then add more stock or water.
I always season soup starting with small amounts and work up.
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper – I LOVE those McCormick’s pepper grinders!
a 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
a big pinch of dried parsley
a pinch of dried sage OR poultry seasoning
1/2 cup barley
a few ounces of egg noodles – I just use up whatever I have in my pantry
Cook at low boil until the barley and noodles are tender.
Remove the bay leaf!
Add the chicken meat.
Simmer until everything is nice and hot. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
Serve with the pie crust topping.