This soup bursts with flavor. Now that I've moved back to "The Great Northwest", it has become a favorite on rainy, gray days. Serve with crusty bread and a salad of spinach and tomatoes topped with toasted pine nuts.
- 9 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
- 1⁄2 cup barley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups diced carrots
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground chicken thighs or 1 lb ground turkey
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄4 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Mix seasonings and dried herbs in a small bowl.
- Rinse barley and drain it.
- Combine barley in a large soup pot with the 9 cups of chicken broth, about HALF the herb mixture, and 3 of the cloves of crushed garlic.
- Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the meatball ingredients and form into balls the size of walnuts in the shell (you will get 20 or more).
- When the barley/broth mixture has simmered for 30 minutes, add in the remaining 3 crushed garlic cloves, the rest of the seasonings and dried herb mixture, the meatballs, and the carrots and onion.
- Bring soup back to a low simmer, and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring gently every 10 or 15 minutes so meatballs won't stick to the bottom or break apart.
- Serve soup topped with chopped parsley and a generous handful of grated Parmesan cheese.