Reasonably encouraged by the soup I made in my new crockpot last week, I decided to try again. This time with a different grain. BTW, while I have only a 1.5 quart cooker, my first batch yielded a LOT of soup. It took me almost a week to finish it. I think this sized slow cooker is perfect for a person who lives alone.
Second time around I did a variation on my recipe. I have found over the years that working with the same base and making incremental changes results in a discernible growth in information and opens up interesting avenues to experiment with in the future.
This time instead of the farro in my first soup, I used barley. As far as taste goes, I prefer barley, but that is up to you. If you want to follow along with these, I suggest doing them in the same order.
Start with one cup of barley rinsed well.
This time I used 3-1/2 cups of chicken broth to account for absorption by the cooking barley.
Instead of powdered broth, I tried a liquid quart from Trader Joe’s.
Again, I cut up a celery stalk and a carrot stick into small, thin coins
Last but not least, I cut into small pieces half of a chicken breast left over from a rotisserie chicken.
Cook in slow cooker for 3 hours.
The result was even better than last week. The extra cup of broth meant I had more of a thick soup than a thin stew. I think the broth tasted richer, too.
I added a couple of touches when serving it.
I used to cook a lot of Asian dishes and I developed a taste for sesame oil. I added a teaspoon of sesame oil to the first bowl I served. This puts another layer of flavor on the dish.
As before, I toasted up a couple of slices of sprouted rye bread to dip.
The finished product was a lovely stick-to-the-ribs meal on a chilly March Sunday here in Chicago.
Barley nutritional breakdown:
one cup cooked barley yields 193 calories, 0.7 grams of fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 4.7 mg of sodium, 44.3 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein.