Roasted Chicken, Cranberry, Sweet Potato, Barley soup — recipe

My dinner tonight presented several dilemmas.

  1. I’m on a self-imposed “sweet potato diet” where all my carbs will be in the form of sweet potato for the next week. This will require me to get creative and break out of the pasta rut. I had chili on top of mashed sweet potato two nights in a row. Sweet potato is apparently awesome for you.
  2. I really wanted soup, but it’s summer and over 80 degrees. Not really soup weather. I decided I didn’t care and I’m making a delicious hot soup.
  3. What soup to make? I kept craving a turkey, butternut squash, cranberry, and barley soup I made with thanksgiving leftovers, but there was no way I was making a turkey! Ah hah… I will make roasted chicken breasts instead and use sweet potato instead of butternut squash. Genius! Problems solved.

So I present my roasted chicken, cranberry, sweet potato, barley soup!

Ingredients:

Roasted chicken:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts (bone and skin) seasoned generously.
  • Half a large yellow onion quartered
  • One carrot peeled and chopped

For the seasoning, I made a paste of olive oil, butter, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried italian seasoning, nutmeg, sea salt, black pepper, peppercorns, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Place chicken, onion, and carrot in dish and roast in oven at 450 until internal temp is 160 degrees (about 30–45 mins).

Stock:

  • Roasted chicken, onion, carrot
  • Water
  • Chicken bouillon cube (or salt)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Several sprigs of fresh flat parsley

Once chicken is done, cool and discard skin (sad, I know). Remove all meat and chop into pieces (or shred if you prefer). Put aside meat. Put bones, carrots, and onions into a stock pot (can be the same pot you make the soup in although I prefer to do separately). Add enough water to cover bones, then another cup. Add bouillon cube, garlic, and parsley. Add any of the seasonings used on chicken as desired (I added a bit more nutmeg and dried parsley). Bring to boil, then lower temperature and simmer for 1-4 hours depending on how much time you have. When you are done with the stock, drain stock into a bowl. Keep onions and carrots. Cool and pick remaining bones for additional chicken meat if desired. Discard bones.

Soup:

  • Half yellow onion – diced
  • 3 garlic cloves – diced
  • Diced chicken
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger optional
  • Stock (including onion and carrot)
  • One large sweet potato – diced (I keep skin on)
  • Two carrots – peeled and diced
  • Prepared chicken
  • 1 can cannelloni (or other white) beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 bag Craisins (I prefer fresh cranberries, but couldn’t find any)
  • Flat parsley chopped (tip – chop in cup with a scissors)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until soft. Add sweet potato, carrots, chicken, beans, barley, Craisins, and stock. Adjust seasonings as need be (I added a bit of Caribbean pepper sauce, black pepper, nutmeg). Add additional water as needed (I added 2 cups at first, then another as it thickened). Cook at least half an hour on low. This soup will get thick, so make sure to adjust water for your desired level of thickness. Add flat parsley as desired about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve. The soup is ready when the barley is tender.

The sweet potato and carrots will be quite mushy by the end, so if you prefer these veggies a bit al dente, add them 10-15 minutes after you toss everything else in.

Also, I know this sounds like a lot of work… but it really wasn’t. 10 mins prep at each step, then you get to leave everything while it cooks itself!

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