One of my best cooking utensils is the new slow cooker I got a month or so ago. I love filling it with the ‘fixins’ in the morning and taking the lid off at supper time for a piping hot meal.
My latest effort was another low labor, high food value one.
I poured several cups of chicken broth into my slow cooker. I have a ‘small’ 1-1/2 quart unit. I put small in quotes because this happens to be the perfect size for a guy like me who lives alone and cooks for himself.
Cut into small coins one small carrot. Into the pot.
Slice up about a half cup of mushrooms. Ditto.
Last, but not least, add a cup of well-rinsed barley.
Top that off with a further two cups of chicken broth, cover, turn on the heat and go about your business.
Four hours later, I turn off the heat, open the cover and inhale the sumptuous aroma of my fresh hot soup.
Note: At this point, the barley has absorbed 95% of the chicken broth. The good news is that it tastes delicious as a result. The other news is that I have to add another cup of the broth to a bowl to have some lovely thick, hot soup after a brief stint in the microwave. This leaves me with well over a quart of mushroom, broccoli barley stew that will be the base of numerous bowls of delicious hot soup with a little chicken broth added.
I have said before that it’s an ill wind that blows no good and with the chilly windy spring weather that has pummeled Chicago lately. This soup dish really hits the spot.
I usually toast up a slice of sprouted rye bread for dipping.
Barley is a wonderful whole grain that is a worthy addition to your diet.
Here is the 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.