Montavilla Farmers Market Fall Vegetable Barley Soup

November 3, 2011 |  by  |  Chef Demos

In October we were lucky enough to have Tim Daly from the Cheese Bar show us his tricks for preparing a market-inspired fall soup. Here’s his recipe!

  • 2 QT stock (Vegetable, Chicken or “Pipe”, whatever)
  • 1 C uncooked pearl barley
  • salt – to taste
  • 1 lg  yellow onion – small dice
  • 2 carrots – peel, small dice
  • 2 or 3 stalks celery – small dice
  • 2 leeks with as much white and light green as possible – wash well, thin slice
  •  extra virgin olive oil – for the pan (or the oil from making roasted garlic confit)
  • salt (kosher, or med course sea)
  • fresh ground black pepper

– rinse barley under cool water and place in 2 qt  sauce pot, cover with stock plus an inch, cook over medium heat (when water comes to a boil, season with salt to “salty like the sea”) until tender, but still chewy, you may need to add more stock during cooking, check and stir occasionally to avoid scorching.

– drain barley, reserving any excess stock to add to the soup, set aside until later

– sweat the mire poix (plus leeks) in oil over med low heat season liberally with salt and black pepper

  •  an assortment of market gathered seasonal veggies

This is where inspiration should strike, and as I said at market, feel free to improvise with whatever looks good, you are craving, or you simply have an abundance of for whatever reason. This is the reason I love to cook soups so much, there are endless varieties and it is quite a forgiving medium which lends itself to experimentation.

I believe I used:

  • garlic – both fresh (1 head) -sliced razor thin, and roasted (confit) (~ a cup) – rough chop
  • 1 largish delecata squash – halve, scoop seed, med. dice
  • 1 bunch kale or other hearty braising green – rough chop
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley – pick leaves, med. rough chop

– add the firmer veggies (like the squash) into the cooked mir piox and sweat them a bit, add raw garlic last and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant.

– add stock to cover plus 2 or 3 inches, bring heat up to high, bring to slow boil, reduce heat to low, add kale and simmer until the squash ( or other veg.) are tender ( ~20 min)

– add barley

– time to start tasting and adjusting seasoning and balance of sweet, salty, acidic, and savory (ummami)

At this point is when I added the crushed plum tomatoes, salt, pepper, any fresh herbs, and lemon juice.

Remember, if your taste buds are tired from tasting the soup over and over while adjusting, seek the help of your loved ones, cooking should be a collaborative process which brings us all closer together.

Enjoy!


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