Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Delicious simplicity for winter nights butternut squash barley soup

Entertainment, February 2024, Journal | 0 comments

February 2024

As winter wraps its chilly arms around us, what better way to embrace the season than with a steaming bowl of Butternut Squash Barley Soup? Bursting with flavor and versatility, this family favorite promises a cozy experience in every spoonful.
The humble butternut squash takes center stage, joined by vibrant veggies, hearty barley and the protein of your choice — whether it’s succulent chicken, tender turkey or satisfying sausage. My family especially enjoys turkey Italian sausage in this recipe. For a vegetarian version, white beans, like great northern or cannellini beans, bring protein and fiber to the party.
Butternut squash and carrots, both bursting with beta-carotene, are rich sources of vitamin A and C, promoting healthy skin and vision while contributing to immune support. Refreshing celery, a hydrating hero, provides antioxidants and vital minerals. Enter barley, a fiber-packed grain that supports digestive health and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Together, they not only satisfy the palate but also nourish your body, making your winter evenings both delicious and nutritious.
Yield: 12 cups
Total Time: 60 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic)
1 teaspoon rubbed sage or poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pearl barley
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 cups (one pound) cooked chicken, turkey or sausage
Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
Stovetop Instructions:
In a large soup pot, over medium-low heat, cook chopped onion in olive oil for one minute. Add celery, carrots and squash, and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasonings and barley, and give it a good stir to combine.
Pour in the broth and water, bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 40 minutes. Add your cooked protein of choice and heat through; add salt and pepper to taste.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Place all ingredients (except your chosen protein) in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-7 hours or until squash and barley are tender. Stir in cooked chicken, turkey or sausage; cook covered for an additional 15 minutes or until heated through.
Instant Pot Instructions:
Set your Instant Pot to the “Saute” function. Heat the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and carrots until they begin to soften, taking about 3-4 minutes. Add butternut squash, seasonings and pearl barley, and continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in chicken or vegetable broth, water, and mix well.
Cancel the “Saute” function and secure the Instant Pot lid, ensuring the vent is in the sealed position. Set the Instant Pot manually to cook for 15-20 minutes at high pressure.
Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Stir in cooked chicken, turkey or sausage and heat through. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
In the spirit of my frugal ethos, this Butternut Squash Barley Soup not only nourishes the soul but also respects your hard-earned dollars. Here’s to frugality, flavor and fabulous meals! Until next time, stay warm and savor the savings.
– Patti Diamond
(c) 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.

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