Hello everyone! Did you enjoy last week’s cold weather? Probably not — but that’s ok! This soup is bound to cheer you up during this cold winter we’re having. #winterishere
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Soup:
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Onion, chopped
- 1 Cup Carrots, chopped
- 1 Cup Celery, Chopped
- 3 -4 cloves Garlic, Chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 Cup Pearled Barley
- 8-10 Cups low sodium Chicken Stock (or Broth)
- 2 Chicken Bullion Cubes
For the Meatballs:
- 1 Lb. ground Chicken
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp Caesar Vinaigrette
- 1 Large egg
- 2/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 grated cheese (I used Manchego Cheese — but any hard cheese would work — cheddar, parmesan, swiss….all the cheese!)
- 1 tbsp. Milk
Hokay. So now you are ready to assemble the meal. Here we go.
Start with the soup portion as the barley will take a long time to cook. In a heavy pot (I used a dutch oven, I love these things! So versatile) heat Olive oil over medium heat. Chop Onion, Carrots, and celery (the French also call this mirepoix) and add to the oil.
Cook until onions are translucent and the mixture begins to brown. Now bring on the spices! add all of the spices & the garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the chicken stock or broth — whichever you have handy. It is important to use low sodium or no sodium stock/broth though as you want to be able to control the salt yourself. Salty Soup = Salty eaters.
**Just FYI; the different between stock & broth is that stock is made from the bones of said animal and broth is made from the meat of the animal.**
Now add the two bullion cubes and follow with the pearled barley. Stir to combine.
Bring the soup to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer, slap a lid on it and forget about to for about 30 to 40 minutes.
On to the MEATBALLS!
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, combine ground turkey with the spices, garlic, & ceasar vinaigrette.
So why use a vinaigrette in meatballs? Well for one thing, it has oil in it so it will help keep the meatballs from drying out. It also provides a depth of flavor to the recipe without having to have all of the ingredients on hand. You could actually nix most of the spices and just use a little bit more vinaigrette if you really want to.
Anyway, back to the balls of meat. Continue to add the ingredients to the chicken, grated cheese, panko bread crumbs, egg and milk.
Then use those clean hands to mix everything together!
Now bust out those mini muffin pans — what you thought they were just good for cooking little muffins? No way! These pans are the secret to perfectly cooked meatballs.
You’ll also need a 1in scoop to make your meatballs a consistent size — another key to even cooking.
Now spray your pan(s) with some no stick spray and using the scoop, form your meatballs.
Bake in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes and once the internal temp reached 165ºF, place the pans on a rack to cool. Remove your meatballs from the pans, and set aside until the barley is done cooking in the soup.
When the barley is al dente (just a bit of resistance when you bite in) add your meatballs to the soup and allow to heat through. Serve to a grateful crowd.
There you have it folks! A great dish to warm you up on a cold winter day.
Question of the day: What’s your favorite thing to eat when it’s cold?
See ya next time!