Whatcha Got Cookin'?

As you have probably figured out, we like to cook in my house, and much prefer to spend our weekday evenings making dinner and hanging out in the kitchen after work instead of doing take-out or suffering through meals made of processed foods. Sure, it takes more time and energy, but I love being in the kitchen, listening to music,watching Maddie play and dance around while we make something delicious for dinner. It is our end-of-the-day family time and I hope that it helps Maddie to grow up with a healthy attitude around food with happy memories of hanging out together as a family.

I thought that I would start a new weekly routine of sharing a recipe that we have made during the week so that perhaps you can be inspired to turn up the Hank Williams, put on an apron and get down and dirty in the kitchen! So here is the first installment! Enjoy!

During the winter months I love soup like nothing else and since Maddie has decided this is one of the foods she will (sometimes) eat, I am trying to make more of it. Matty has been on an awesome bread making kick too, so we are pretty much a match made in heaven lately!

Admittedly not the best picture, but I will work on it!

I made this recipe from Food 52 a while ago and it left us with so many leftovers to freeze that we just recently got through the last of it, but it is so good that I decided to make up another batch Sunday night to have some for the week and to freeze for later. I substituted a bag of spinach for kale (because you all know how I feel about kale) and used all barley instead of farrow. We once again have a freezer full of soup and a batch made up that I can heat quickly before heading off to yoga class on Tuesday night. Now I just have to get another fresh baguette out of the husband!

This is such a cheap recipe to make and you can get pretty creative with adding different herbs or topping it with different things, such as different cheese or a drizzle of truffle oil. I even thought about subbing noodles for the barley sometime to see how that would taste. If you choose not to mess with it, it is vegan, just in case you are into that sort of thing :)

Happy toddler with a full belly!
Serve with fresh bread, a big glass of red wine and a happy family!


Winter-Warming, Freezer Friendly, Pantry Cleaning Soup from Food52.com

  • 1pound chickpeas, dried
  • 2sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1bay leaf
  • 4garlic cloves
  • 2onions, diced
  • 3carrots, diced
  • 1cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1bunch kale, preferably Tuscan
  • 3/4cups pearl barley (or use a cup and a half and no farro)
  • 3/4cups farro (or use a cup and a half and no barley)
  1. Soak the dried chickpeas in plenty of cold water overnight or for at least six hours. Drain the plumped chickpeas and add them to a large pot along with about 10 cups water. Also add: the rosemary sprigs, the bay leaf, a crushed clove of garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil and a tablespoon of salt. If you have a parmesan rind, add that too. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for an hour or so, or until tender; add more water along the way if too much boils off. Do not drain, but remove the rind, the rosemary, the garlic, and the bay leaf.
  2. Meanwhile, warm two or three tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and then add the diced onions and carrots. Sweat until soft; season with salt. Then chop the remaining garlic and add it and the tomatoes. Cook for 5 or 10 more minutes and then add the mixture to the chickpea pot.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. (You can do this while the chickpeas are cooking.) Destem the kale and cut the stem into thin slices; put aside. Roughly chop the leaves. Add the stem to the boiling water; boil for 2 minutes. Then add the leaves and boil for another 3 minutes. Drain and then cool. Chop the kale again if you think the leaves look too large for a soup. Add the kale to the chickpea pot. Simmer the whole thing for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. (You can do this while the chickpeas are cooking, too, or after you finish the kale.) Add the barley and farro (or just barley or just farro). Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the grains but keep the barley/farro water.
  5. When the chickpea mixture has simmered for 10 minutes, add the farro/barley and simmer for another 5. If the soup looks too much like stew, thin it with your reserved barley/farro water. Season with salt. Serve with crushed chili flakes and/or parmesan.


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