On the menu today at the Work at Home Cafe, homemade What Have You Stew.
Actually, it’s more of a soup. Trader Joe’s recently came out with a 10-minute little bag of barley and this is the second time I’ve used one. The first time I did a chicken and kale thingy. This time I used TJ’s chicken sweet italian sausage. No sulfites and it gives me a sausage fix that is otherwise fulfilled by soy sausage, which just doesn’t do it in soups.
So, here’s what I did. You can do something else similar because this only has these ingredients because they were what I found in the fridge. Typing this up makes it look complicated, but the basic idea is to use some veggies up and replicate the sausage seasoning in the broth.
1 pound chicken sweet Italian sausage
1/2 a 16-ounce bag of baby carrots, cut into pieces
1 bag or bunch of Swiss chard (or kale or spinach), chopped
2 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag of TJ’s 10-minute barley. ( Or about a cup and a half of dry regular barley cooked separately as directed and added in at the end.)
smidge of coconut oil (or whatever good oil you have)
1 quart chicken broth plus 4 cups of water
chicken bouillon to taste, at the end
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp ground bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
Cut the sausages open and make little 1/2 inch balls of the sausage. Brown these in the coconut oil. Browning helps keep all the flavor from leaching out into the broth.
Add in the garlic and onion at the end of browning so the flavor is carried by the little bit of coconut oil.
Add broth and water, barley and all the veggies and spices.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 12 minutes.
It’s yummy soup now!! Have lunch at your own kitchen table while doing some reading for work, or just stare out the window and savor it.
TIP: Because of the quick cooking time, I microwaved the carrots till they were soft before adding them. I do that a lot with carrots since I’ve had them mess up soups that were ready other than the carrots which had to cook. and cook. and cook.