chicken-vegetable-barley soup

AJ and I splurged on diner-food for lunch so I thought we should make supper light.  This is a light soup that goes best with fresh baked bread or a salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I prefer to make soup with a home-made chicken broth as the base because home-made is lower in sodium. I used a broth that I had made earlier in the week from three chicken wings, 1  quart water, an onion, celery stalk with leaves, and a carrot. Bring the stock almost to a boil (when you see bubbles forming around the edges) then simmer for 2 hours. If you want a clear broth, it’s important not to boil the stock because impurities and foam will cloud the soup.  However, if it does happen, you can strain the soup. I bought a fine mesh skimmer in Chinatown just for this purpose. It looks like a tiny soup ladle with a mesh strainer instead of a bowl.

Chicken-Vegetable-Barley Soup

5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 small carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 gray squash or zucchini
1 cup baby lima beans, frozen
1 cup corn niblets, frozen
1/4 of a red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup green beans,  chopped in 1” lengths
1 chicken breast, sliced into 1″ bits
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried herbs, e.g. thyme, parsley

In a large pot, heat the broth. Add the pearl barley and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery; continue simmering for 5 more minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Drop the chicken into the soup one at a time and watch it change from pink to white. Add seasoning and herbs to taste. Serve at once.

Indonesian Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin recipe has a sweet glaze with the tang of chili pepper. It is very easy to make and only takes 40 minutes in the oven. The next time I make this I will increase the chili pepper to two teaspoons to give it more bite to play against the sweetness in the peanut butter and mango chutney.

1 one-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver
2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons crushed chili pepper (to taste)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Cooking spray
1/4 cup mango chutney

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Prepare a baking tray by spraying it with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili pepper and garlic. Use a teaspoon to spread all over the tenderloin. Place in the prepared baking tray and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the mango chutney to get a chunky appearance without any large pieces of mango. Spoon on the top and sides of the tenderloin and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160˚F.

Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. I served it with barley,  sautéed kale, and pan-roasted asparagus with tomatoes, ripe olives, and garlic. If you wish, serve with mango chutney on the side.