This is a great frugal and healthy meal, especially for all you pregnant ladies out there. I'm trying to follow the Brewer diet during my pregnancy. It's the diet recommended in Bradley classes. It's simple. Lots of protein, lots of veggies, lots of eggs, lots of dairy. Really just lots of everything good for you. But like most Americans I have trouble in the veggie department, especially getting enough leafy green ones and orange ones. And enough whole grains and protein for Dr. Brewer's satisfaction. I'm starting to wonder if Dr. Brewer is really my Ukranian grandmother. I can never eat enough to please her, either.
So to get more veggies, start by roasting a chicken for Sunday supper. Let's get a good look at that chicken butt:
Yep, that thing's trussed with a paper clip. And I took a picture and published it I'm so proud of my ingenuity. Again, I'm weird. Or else desparate for frugality street cred. Housewives can be like that sometimes.
Now make a big pot of stock from the carcass. I like to put it in the crock pot overnight with some onion ends, leafy tops of celery stalks, carrot ends, and half a lemon. The crock pot method is not Le Cordon Bleu approved, but I'm not making clarified stock for aspics just regular home cooking. I read on some blog somewhere (sorry I can't credit) to keep two bags in the freezer for stock making ingredients, one for vegetable matter and one for meat bones. I've been doing that, and it has made a difference in my cooking. Homemade stock is much better. And since it's essentially made from garbage, it counts as being free! So I'm not as stingy with stock in cooking as I used to be. I've also realized that whole chickens are much more economical than buying just parts, as is buying a bone-in roast of whatever other meat than buying boneless. One chicken carcass will yield me about a gallon of stock. I freeze it flat in gallon-size freezer bags, a quart in each bag. If there's extra it goes in smaller bags with a cup in each. It thaws much faster this way and you can fit a lot more in your freezer.
So now, if you're still with me, the actual recipe:
Green and Orange Soup
In a soup pot, combine:
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup barley
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables:
- peel and dice one small butternut squash
- slice 8 carrots
- chop one onion
- derib and chop one head kale
Add the vegetables to the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables and barley are tender. Stir in:
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
Heat through, season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. It makes a lot of soup, but it freezes great.