Chicken Barley Soup with Walnut Pesto

Chicken Barley Soup with Walnut Pesto

 Ingredients

Soup:

  • 5  bacon slices, choppeds 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic 
  • 2  portobello mushroom caps, choppeds 
  • 1.5 kg whole chicken, skinned 
  • 1  thyme sprig 
  • 2  liters cold waters 
  • 225 g Swiss chard 
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 cup cubed peeled butternut squash 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery 
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple 
  • 1  habanero pepper 
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 

Pesto:

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted 
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic 
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt 

 Instructions

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan, cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Place chicken and thyme in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  3. Cover with 4 1/2 quarts(liters) cold water, bring to a simmer. Skim fat from surface, discard.
  4. Remove stems and center ribs from Swiss chard. Coarsely chop stems and ribs, reserve leaves.
  5. Add stems, ribs, and next 5 ingredients (through apple) to pan, bring to a simmer.
  6. Pierce habanero with a fork, add to pan. Cook 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
  7. Remove chicken from pan, cool slightly. Remove chicken from bones, chop meat.
  8. Discard bones, thyme sprig, and habanero. Strain barley mixture through a sieve over a bowl.
  9. Reserve 4 cups of broth for another use. Return remaining 6 cups broth to pan, bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes.
  10. Return chicken and barley mixture to pan, bring to a simmer. Add mushroom mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
  11. To prepare pesto, cook Swiss chard leaves in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, drain.
  12. Place leaves, walnuts, and remaining ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth. Serve with soup.

 Notes

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