Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barley Alphabet Soup

Do you ever just make stuff up? I guess once you figure out what spices go together, then whipping up a "dump" soup is pretty easy. I call it a dump soup because it always contains a couple of cans from the pantry...usually beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, etc. and whatever you happen to have in your fridge. I am getting ready to go grocery shopping so this is what I had left in my stock: 1 sweet potato, leftover easter ham, half bag of baby carrots, 3 green onions.

I almost feel challenged to create something interesting when there is so little produce in the a quickfire challenge. (By the way, last week on Top Chef the quickfire was to create something with 5 ingredients! - cool!)

Here is the "recipe" which actually came out quite tasty!

Barley Alphabet Soup

1 T. olive oil
half bag of baby carrots
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup leftover spiral ham, chopped
2 cans chicken stock
2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 T. ketchup
1 T. dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp dried parsely
3 chopped green onions
1 sweet potato, chopped
1/4 cup alphabet pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the carrots, barley and ham in oil for 5 minutes, until barley gets a little toasty. Add the stock, water, tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add green onions and sweet potato and simmer for another 15. Using a stick blender, blend up for a few seconds to break down some of the chunks. There should still be a lot of texture, but the soup will now be thicker. Add the alphabet pasta and cook just until pasta is tender. Serve with cornbread or salad.

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