Kale and Barley Soup

1-073See those two kids, at the very bottom of this post, with their thumbs up? Yep, those are my littles and they approved Mama’s cookin’.  All jokes aside, I have been making this nutrient dense soup once a week for the past month, and a whole big pot of it is gone in two days! You can even freeze any leftovers, and then you’ll have yourself a nice bowl of steaming goodness on a busy weekday.  Have your little helpers roll the meatballs while you are preparing the rest of the soup.  My 4-year-old daughter begs me to let her make meatballs each and every time I make this soup.  So I let her, and she is busy for a good 30 minutes trying to make sure each one is “perfect”.  I included a picture of the barley that is needed for this recipe.  The neat thing about it is that it cooks in about 10-15 minutes.  Traditional barley takes a good 45 min to an hour, but I spotted this 10-minute barley in Trader Joe’s and it’s the only one I use now.  The seasoning for the meatballs is also from Trader Joe’s and it’s a blend of different spices.  If you don’t have this type of seasoning, you can omit it, or add any that you like that are currently available in your pantry.  The key to this soup, in my opinion, is the smoked paprika.  But don’t overdo it! I use only 1/4 of a teaspoon to give the soup just a hint of flavor.  Here are the ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

1 lb ground turkey meat

1 tsp salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon 21 Seasoning Salute

Soup:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, cut into half-moons

16 cups water (or you can use chicken broth just omit the Better than Bullion)

3 tablespoons Better than Bullion

6 oz Kale, chopped, stems removed (optional)

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt (if using water and Better than Boullion, otherwise taste soup and add salt if needed)

4-5 medium potatoes

3/4 cup 10 minute Barley

Directions:

Prepare meatballs by combining and mixing together 1 lb ground turkey meat, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 tbs 21 Seasoning Salute.  Make meatballs about 1 inch in diameter.  This portion should yield approximately 53 meatballs.1-0041-024

Preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.  Saute 1 chopped onion for 7 min or until golden brown, add 3 minced garlic cloves.  Continue to saute for an additional minute.  Add in 16 cups of water (or chicken broth). Bring to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of Better than Boullion and mix with the hot water in the pot (omit this step if using chicken broth).1-013

Add in the 2 carrots. Throw in the meatballs.  Continue to cook on medium high heat (needs to be gently boiling) for 5 minutes.  Peel and chop the potatoes into squares.  Add to soup.  Add 3/4 cup barley. 1-008Continue cooking at a gentle boil for another 5 minutes then add 6 oz of kale. 1-029Cook 8 minutes, add 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.1-033If using chicken broth, taste the soup and add salt as needed.  Cook for additional 5 minutes and take off heat.1-0571-058

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