Some of you may have seen my cooking frenzy a few weeks ago on Instagram as I prepared meals to freeze before baby girls arrival. I have always tried to keep my meals wholesome and organic where possible (though I still order take out and greasy pizza from time to time – gotta live a little!) and when I thought about my meals postpartum I felt it was even more important. Packing my freezer with simple meals I can heat up that I made myself with care and attention would be the best way to nourish my baby, myself, my hubs and my tastebuds. Of course, one of my meals had to be a soup. This Barley Soup with Smoked Chorizo fit the bill!
Like most of my recipes, I develop and create based on what I have on hand more than anything. I don’t like to be wasteful, a trait that I am trying to extend to my closet too. Sustainability is important – use what you’ve got first I say! I had a bit of left over smoked chorizo and cooked barley from making some burritos (also to freeze) and figured – why not make this into a soup!
Added some kale, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, veggie stock and parsley and I was good to go! This soup is easy, hearty and wholesome with tons of vegetables, barley to give it some heft and chorizo to add another layer of flavor.
Now you know that my diet is mostly vegetarian. However, with a mother from Venezuela and a father from Portugal that makes his own chorizo you can see how omitting all meat products from my diet would be difficult to say the least. Like anything, I believe moderation is key. I also believe you should listen to your body. When I want a piece of bacon or a slice of chorizo I go for it. I buy the best quality I can (or get it from my Dad) and incorporate it based on what I am craving.
This soup is definitely filling and you can omit the chorizo to make it completely vegan. To balance the spice I would add a pinch or two of paprika to give it some of the peppery flavor the chorizo lends to the dish.
Now make a huge pot of this, double or triple if needed, because you will eat more of it than you anticipated and you’ll want enough to freeze for the future too. Nothing like having a soup ready to heat and serve, especially when it is this good!
Barley Soup with Smoked Chorizo
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces smoked chorizo, sliced and quartered
2 large carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomato
1 1/2 cups cooked barley
1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
1 1/2 cups kale leaves, roughly chopped
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
fresh parsley, chopped
In a dutch oven on medium high heat add olive oil and chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is crisp on the edges. Remove and set aside.
Add carrots and leeks to dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are translucent and carrots have softened. Add tomato paste, vegetable stock and canned tomatoes, stirring until paste is fully incorporated.
Once soup begins to simmer, add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add chorizo and simmer another 5-10 minutes until zucchini is cooked through and kale is tender. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Serve soup with crusty bread, some chopped parsley and a lemon wedge for extra zing!