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I had the good fortune of growing up during a bygone era when an average middle class kid like me had a stay home mom who heaped love and good food on me and my family. This recipe is one of my favorite from my mom’s repertoire. It tastes great, it’s simple, the ingredients are inexpensive, it’s good for you, it’s great for colds (I swear fresh chicken broth has special powers, it can be made in large quantities, and it stores frozen and refrigerated. In other words, it’s the perfect recipe for a family of 6.

Mom Bonds’ Barley Soup

3 leg-and-thighs of chicken
1.5 cups pearl barley
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1/2 white onion
Pepper
Salt

Get three leg-and-thighs (chicken), wash and place in large pot with lots of water, enough to cover and then some. Wash about one to one and a half cups of pearl barley, and add to water and chicken. Add one half teaspoon salt. (Barley expands a lot). Simmer all for about one to one and a quarter hours after it starts to simmer. (Simmer is a very mild boil). The last ten minutes wash and cut up in chunks two whole carrots and add to soup. Last five minutes cut up and add to soup two stalks celery. Grated onion added in the beginning gives a very nice flavor. Add more water if soup seems too thick. Soup thickens more in frig. Remove chicken and let cool under a wet paper towel. Remove bone and skin, cut into chunks and throw back into soup. Stir and enjoy! May need more salt. Towards the end grate onion and add to soup. Salt and pepper to taste.