Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Herb-Pesto Barley Soup

I found this soup to be incredibly boring and in need of Parmesan cheese. Mr. Snowgoose thought it was savory (though he refused to add yogurt to his). I was surprised to see how willing I was to try and make pesto again so soon! This also came from the January 2009 issue of Body and Soul Magazine.

Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup pearled barley
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from a large bunch)
1 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

Directions:
1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized and tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, scraping up the browned bits (add a little water to the bottom of the pot if it begins to overbrown). Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add barley and 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer partially covered over medium until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in beans and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in the 2 cups whole parsley leaves. Add more water to thin soup as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, in blender, combine dill, mint, chopped parsley, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Puree to desired consistency. Serve soup topped with herb pesto and a dollop of yogurt.


Cook's notes:
1. Did you see how much salt and pepper I had to add?
2. The mint made the soup too minty for my liking and I added fresh basil to the pesto mix along with Parmesan cheese.
3. I goofed on the vinegar added the wrong kind.

Chicken Cacciatore with Cremini Mushrooms

We're big cremini mushroom fans in the Snowgoose household. Well, at least I am. I probably go through two packages a week.

In cleaning out my recipe file I found this recipe from last January's Body and Soul Magazine.

Note: this is not a quick recipe. It requires at least four hours in the crock-pot. But it's a classic! I made some slight modifications and this is the result.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine like as Sauvignon Blanc
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Directions:

1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, flour, wine, celery, onion, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

2. Cover; cook on high setting until meat is tender, 4 hours. Do not lift the cover of the slow cooker while cooking. To serve, discard rosemary sprig.

Cook's notes:

1. I somehow ran out of onions and thought I'd add extra celery for crunch. Guess what? Celery is not a good onion substitute! As my FIL said, "maybe next time include the onion."
2. I didn't use a rosemary sprig. Instead I added lots of fresh rosemary from my garden and it worked fine.
3. I did not serve it with brown rice, but we did use sourdough bread to mop up the juice.

Would I make it again? Hell yes!

I can't find the photos, but I will upload them eventually!