barley soup with turkey sausage, swiss chard, and shaved parmesan.

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

The calendar may say spring, but I’m not buying it.  We haven’t quite let go of winter just yet.  And for these lingering cold days when you’re in need of a hearty, warm lunch or dinner, may I suggest this barley soup?  It is good and good for you, simple, and tasty.

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Top it with some shredded or shaved cheese and serve with some crusty bread.  Or just eat it like this.  I don’t care.  You will like it, I promise.

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Barley Soup with Turkey Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Shaved Parmesan

Recipe from Climbing Grier Mountain  (with adaptations)

What you need:

  • 1 pound of turkey sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped [remove leaves and stem]
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup barley [I used 1 package of Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Barley]
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 4 generous cups of cleaned and chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • shaved Parmesan, for topping

What to do:

Finely chop your onion, fennel, and carrots.  In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high heat.  Add the turkey sausage, and cook until browned.   I let the sausage cook for about 10-12 minutes.  Then, add the chopped veggies and saute until soft, 5-6 minutes.  Add the barley and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the broth.  Bring the pot to a boil, then turn to low heat and let the soup simmer for 35 minutes.  Add the chopped chard and rinsed & drained garbanzo beans, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove soup from heat.  Serve with a spoonful of shaved Parmesan cheese.

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Note:  This was my first recipe with fennel.  It’s been described as having a licorice taste, but I found it to be lightly minty.  Once it was chopped, sauteed, and mixed into the soup, I couldn’t even distinguish it.  But it’s apparently packed with nutrients:  fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants.   Still, if you are leery, or can’t find fennel in your grocery store, just use add more carrots or a finely chopped stalk of celery.  Whatever floats your boat will work well in this soup.

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ZOOMED IN GOODNESS.

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One last picture because I am new-camera-happy.

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