Usually at the beginning of my posts I have a fun little story or anecdote to tell you all.
Not today, junior.
My mind has been working overtime, yo. And not because I’m doing out-of-the-ordinary stuff. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m doing very regular, everyday stuff which miiiiiiiight be the problem.
Today, I took my kids to the babysitters’ house, came home and did some blogging work. Then caught up on laundry, dishes, housework, etc. Then watched a few clips of Mr. Holland’s Opus because….ya know, I love to procrastinate. I also love Mr. Holland’s Opus and it’s been YEARS since I’ve seen it. Plus I had ‘someone to watch over me’ stuck in my head. So obviously I watched this clip 142 times. Duh.
AND, ironically the song is still in my head. Good thing I like it.
What does this have to do with today’s recipe? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But, I will tell you this soup is healthy, really good, simple to throw together and my 4 year old ate 2 bowls full. TWO BOWLS FULL! The mini meatballs and cheese I sprinkled on top definitely helped my cause. The rainy Portland weather begs me to make soup, so this is a frequent occurrence ’round these parts. Make some No-Knead Crescent Rolls and this becomes a mighty tasty dinner. Give it a whirl and enjoy!
Here’s how you make it:Start by chopping a whole lot of veggies: onions, carrots and zucchini.Grate some garlic too…and cut up some butternut squash too. I bought this precut squash from Whole Foods. Sauté all the veggies in some olive oil is a large pot for 5 – 10 minutes until things start to soften up. Please excuse my darker indoor florescent light photos. I blame Portland weather. It starts getting dark at 2:30, I swear. #IHAVENOCHOICE.
Now add in two cans of diced tomatoes,some chicken stock and some spices. Cover and bring to boil.Once the soup is boiling, you can grab some chicken sausages and make your cute little meatballs.You basically just squeeze the meat out of the casing and roll them into small baby meatballs. Drop these into the boiling broth to cook….and dump in the barley too. Let this cook away for 45 minutes to an hour or until the barley is soft.
Serve with a little cheese if desired and dig in!
Chicken Meatball & Barley Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 2 small zucchini diced
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 6 cup chicken broth
- 2 14.5- oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup pearl barley
- 3 Italian chicken sausage links
- parmesan cheese optional
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini and squash for 5-6 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, seasonings and barley. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Pull meat from sausages out of casings and roll into small meatballs. Drop into simmering broth. Cook 30-45 minutes or until pearl barley is completely cooked. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated parmesan.