This week’s featured cookbook is Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything The Basics. Yes the Mark Bittman who recipes have been used on this blog 28 times. I just love his cooking, his writing and his videos. He even does a tribute to Charlie Chaplin in the beginning of some of his videos. What’s not to like about this guy. And I do have a autographed copy of this book!
So tonight we start with Barley Soup with Hearty Greens. Super easy and wow it was delicious.
I love the texture of the barley. I opted for Swiss Chard for the green.
Barley Soup with Hearty Greens, from How To Cook Everything The Basics
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup pearled barley
7 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
About 2 pounds hearty greens (I used kale and the leafy tops to a head of celery)
Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until it’s soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the barley and cook, stirring constantly to coat every grain in the fat, until it starts to toast and stick to the pot, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid bubbles steadily. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley is almost tender but still with a bit of crunch, 20 to 25 minutes. (My barley took a lot longer than 25 minutes but came out perfect). Add up to 1 cup of water if the soup looks too dry.
Meanwhile, separate the leaves of the greens for the stems. Keep the leaves and stems separate and roughly chop both.
When the barley is just tender, turn the heat medium-high, uncover the pot and add the stems. Bring the soup to a boil, and add the leaves, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily again. Cover and cook until the barley is fully tender but not mushy and the greens are bright colored and tender, another 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, add another 1 or 2 tablespoons olive and serve.