I would give anything for a big bowl of this soup at this exact moment. Actually I would give anything for a home cooked meal.
For the past month, I have barely kept my head above water. I have been workin’ like crazy at my “day job(s)” and traveling quite a bit. Then I decided that life wasn’t crazy enough right now. To shake things up even more, I decided I should move right in the middle of it all.
Needless to say, cooking, well it hasn’t existed, for let’s be real… weeks (maybe a month?). Obviously when I have been out of town it has been meals out on the town. And considering all of my dishes, pots and pans have been
carefully not so carefully (because who has time to pack properly, not I) in boxes for going on 12 days… more eating out, or sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But things are looking brighter in my new, larger kitchen. I have a bigger fridge (and a second “garage fridge” on the way) and while my pantry is smaller, I have more counter and cabinet space. Oh and a breakfast nook (yes, a nook) with a gorgeous bay window that lets in the perfect amount of sun! (A food blogger’s dream!)
Which is all fantastic… for when I can unpack and find my ice cream maker… priorities at it’s finest (have I mentioned I’ve been stressed.)!
I haven’t quite decided what our first home cooked meal will be in our new home, but this soup is so comforting and welcoming, that I am leaning towards it!
I have been making this Vegetable Barley Soup with Chicken Sausage Meatballs all “winter” (if you want to call it that… more like a cold Texas spring) and it has quickly become a favorite! Since it is loaded with vegetables, chewy barley and plump, juicy meatballs; makes it not only delicious but good for you too!
Now… since I am drowning in a sea of boxes… what is your best tip for quickly getting settled into a new house?
Err… that should read: SEND HELP!
One Year Ago: Restaurant Review: Jack Allen’s Kitchen (Austin, Texas)
Two Years Ago: Raw Cauliflower Couscous
Three Years Ago: Classic Red Beans and Rice
Four Years Ago: Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
Five Years Ago: Boursin Cheese, Spinach and Pecan-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Vegetable Barley Soup with Chicken Sausage Meatballs
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Serves: 6-8
1 pound spinach chicken sausage links*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 large carrots, diced
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, or to taste
2/3 cup pearl barley
2 small zucchini, diced
Parmesan cheese, as needed for serving*
Remove sausage from the casing and place in a large bowl. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop sausage into small meatballs; using hands to roll into uniform meatballs, if needed.
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, add meatballs and brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
To the same pot add onions, carrots, and butternut squash and saute for for 5-6 minutes, adding additional oil, if needed. Add the garlic and cook for additional 1-2 minutes.
Stir in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, seasonings and barley. Bring to boil and boil for 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to simmer and add browned meatballs. Cook 30-45 minutes or until pearl barley is tender, yet slightly chewy. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in zucchini.
Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Note: Can be omitted for a vegan/vegetarian meal.
Adapted from Lauren’s Latest