Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Barley Soup with Chorizo
I haven't been feeling the best the past few days. And even though I wasn't feeling 100 percent I did a 45 minute workout DVD on Saturday and a steady jog on Sunday. I pooped out on the jog. I just ran out of steam.
I shouldn't have gone. I learned the lesson that when your body says to rest you should rest. It should be a no-brainer, but I'm sure I'm not the first to push a little too hard.
Monday I still wasn't feeling that great, but I knew it wasn't something I could pass along to others. So, I convinced myself I'd be OK once I got to work.
I ended up going home at noon feeling like I could toss my cookies at any moment. I didn't, but I sure felt like I was about to. Even if I could stick it out, I didn't want to, and my productivity would have been zilch. Might as well take the time to sleep.
So this week has been a lot of bland, boring food (think dry cereal and crackers). I was feeling better today, though, so I actually made soup.
And this might go down in the hall of fame of Jen's favorite soups. I used Real Simple's Farro Soup with Chorizo as the jumping off point. In the spirit of using what's in the freezer/pantry I used up my last link of chorizo. The brand I found at Whole Foods is surprisingly lean and you really only need two links for four generous servings.
I didn't have farro, but I had pearl barley. The cooking time on the barley said 30 to 40 minutes, so I started let it simmer while I started the recipe. If you had quick-cooking barley, you wouldn't need to start it in advance.
I followed it as written up pretty much the rest of the way. When it was time to add the barley I drained it and added to the pot with the water and broth. After it softened up all the way, I didn't have much liquid left, so I added a little more broth. Lastly, instead of chard I used frozen chopped spinach.
I loved the spiciness of the soup. The recipe suggest kielbasa as an alternative to chorizo, but in my mind there is no substitute. It wouldn't have the same zing without it.
There were maybe a couple of things I didn't like. The frozen spinach wasn't ideal. Next time I'll stick to the chard the recipe calls for or use fresh spinach. I'm just not a huge fan of frozen spinach in soups. Lastly, just because the crunchiness of chickpeas kind of freaks me out, I personally would prefer a small white bean like navy or cannellini or maybe even something like a pinto. Anything but chickpeas. But if you love chickpeas, then knock yourself out. :)
Overall, it's a hearty, flavorful soup I can totally see myself making over and over again.