Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ham & Pea Barley Soup

Brrrr... it's been pretty cold in San Francisco in the past few days, I felt that we needed something warm, soupy and more substantial for dinner besides salad. To keep it somewhat healthy, I made this ham & pea barley soup utilizing the ingredients that I had in my freezer and pantry using Whole Foods' Root Vegetable Stew with Beef and Barley recipe as a guideline.

1 cup of medium diced ham
2 carrots, small diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup sliced crimini mushroom
1 cup pearled barley
1 bay leaf
2 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of flour
2 green onions, finely chopped (or 1/4 cup of parsley)
salt & pepper

  • In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and cook the ham cubes for about 5 minutes or so until a bit browned, set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and stir in the chopped onion and carrots, scrapping the brown ham bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the barley and continue to cook, stirring for an additional minute.
  • Add in the bay leaf, chicken broth and ham back into the pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour and 1/2 cup of the cooking broth. Add the flour mixture and the sliced mushroom into the pot and cook for another 30 minutes until barley is cooked and stew is thickened.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper and add in the frozen pea and cooked for another 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley or green onion.

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