Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Variations on a Soup Theme

Readers, you know me. I'll see a recipe and say "I could make that! But...." and then the variations begin. This one started as a Lentil soup. I didn't have lentils, but I had beans. Kidney beans. No, I know, they're not the same, but as the basis for a soup, they'll both work. Prep the beans first; soak overnight, at least. I put mine in the crock pot on high for a few hours, then turned it to Keep Warm for overnight. In the morning, I rinsed the beans and started over with the rest of the ingredients.

Daisy's Variations on a Soup

1/2 cup dried beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper (or both)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh basil OR 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh oregano OR 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
3/4 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary OR 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped chicken or turkey (save this until Thanksgiving leftovers - sure, why not?)
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup quick-cooking barley
1 14 1/2 oz. can of tomatoes - or the equivalent in fresh tomatoes, if you have them

Prepare beans by soaking overnight. Rinse.
Add all other ingredients except the chicken and barley.
Simmer all day long - 4-6 hours on high, 6-8 on low.
Add chicken and barley 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Serving suggestion: serve with Nuts and Twigs bread topped with Nutella.

Note: I was really attracted to this recipe because I have basil, oregano, and rosemary growing wildly on my deck. I feel pressured to use up as much as I can before the frost hits. Coincidentally, Chuck brought home a rotisserie chicken for lunch on Sunday. The leftover chicken will be perfect for this. It's all part of meal planning according to what's in the house already. Well, in the house or growing outside the house, that is.


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