" I truly think it is best to be a robin lightly dressed concocting soup inside my nest" ~Maurice Sendak

Soul Food

Everyone loves the creamy dish Risotto. It is one of the most popular rice dishes.

This is a twist of that dish using barley instead of rice.
The result is a comforting satisfying dish unlike any other I've had.
Perfect after being out on a freezing cold winter day.

Just be sure not to rush the process of adding the broth to the barley. It takes time for the grains to release the starch which makes for the creamy texture.
This risotto can be served as a main course or as a side dish.

Once you tuck into this you will have to agree this is the ultimate comfort food.

Smokey Barley Risotto

  • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 slices of bacon diced
  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup of pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the chicken broth over medium heat in a pot.
In a wide sauce pan fry the bacon and pancetta until lightly crisp. Pour off most of the fat.
Add the onion and garlic and
cook until soft.
Pour in the barley and stir well for a few minutes to coat every grain until they are lightly toasted.
Pour in the wine and stir quickly as the barley absorbs the wine.
Now begin to add the warm stock 1 cup at a time. Stirring well to make sure all the broth is absorbed by the barley before adding the next cup.
Repeat this process until the barley is tender and creamy. This process takes about 45 minutes.
Taste often to determine the tenderness of the barley.
Add the cheese and herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the fresh parsley.
Serve immediately.

Wine Suggestion: Chardonnay


Hot Pot

Nothing beats the chill better than a hot bowl of soup.

Soup is economical, easy and very nutritious. It is also a great way to use up leftover meat and vegetables.
Keep your pantry stocked with cans of different types of beans, rice and canned tomatoes, typical staples of soup.
Homemade stock tastes better then canned and has a lot less sodium. Here is my homemade turkey stock recipe.

I gave the traditional turkey soup an ethnic flair by adding the fragrant spices of India.
Like all soups, this tastes even better the next day.

Serve with warm Naan bread.

Curried Indian Style Turkey Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 celery rib diced
  • 1/2 each red and yellow pepper diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 can of lentils
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 8 cups of turkey stock
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 to 2 cups of diced turkey meat
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large deep soup pot add some olive oil.
Over medium heat add the onion, garlic, celery, peppers and carrots.
Cook until softened and translucent.
Add the lentils, rice and spices.
Stir until well coated and mixed.
Add the turkey stock and rice.
Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until rice is tender and soup is reduced slightly.
Add the peas and turkey during the last half hour of cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper or more spices.

Ladle into bowls and serve or refrigerate and reheat and serve the next day.

Wine Suggestion: Gewurztraminer