Friday, January 13, 2017

Pumpkin Barley Soup

I was trying to decide what to put in this soup to make it more interesting.  Then it started raining again, and I realized that sometimes simple is better.  This is definitely a rainy-day comfort soup, only pumpkin instead of tomato.

I'm really going to miss the rain next week, when some Santa Ana winds are going to kick in and dry things out for at least five days.  For one thing, I haven't had to water what's left of my lawn in over a month.  Part of drought relief isn't just the rain filling reservoirs, it's the reduced water usage due to nature doing the work.  As long as we get at least a quarter inch a week, I can leave off the sprinklers and use sump water for the two covered planters.  I'm on a raised foundation, and a small lake forms under the kitchen table if I don't go out there and turn on the pump every few hours when it rains.

Aside from the lawn, the garden is loving the fresh rainfall.  I could have put mushrooms in this soup, but the celery is going gangbusters.  So is everything else in the pond, hence beets on fresh greens as a side salad.

2/3 C dry pearl barley
1 Tb olive oil
*1/2 C diced onion
*1 C diced celery
*1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (unsalted)
*1 15oz can pumpkin purée
*1/2 tsp dry sage
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Rinse barley and place in large saucepan with water to cover by two inches.  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes.  Drain.

2.  Leave the barley in the strainer and put the pot back on the burner.  Add oil and heat over medium.  Add onion and celery and cook until onion is soft, about five minutes.

3.  Add broth, pumpkin, cooked barley, and sage.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Difficulty rating  π

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