I have to say, it was a bit of a shock to my system to return here. This winter can only be described as relentless and everywhere I look people just look….in pain. It doesn’t stop snowing. The wind is insane. I literally almost blew over while getting gas. And of course, it hurts to breathe. Nice.
I knew some type of soup had to get going on my stove ASAP as it’s the only thing that can help. This one is super healthy (kale!), super hearty (barley!), and comes together easily (almost one dish!). A big bowl of barley stew, some crusty bread, and a glass of pinot noir – hopefully it will take the edge off the fact that spring is nowhere in sight. Sigh.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley
- Salt, to taste
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 lb. chicken sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juices
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the barley and a big pinch of salt, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil.
- Add the sausage and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the saucepan and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Cut the sausage into 1-inch slices and return them to the saucepan. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Season with the red pepper flakes, salt, & pepper.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices and the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the barley and the kale and cook just until the kale softens, about 5 minutes.