When I first moved to the US, this soup was one of the first things I associated with winter. My stepmother would make a huge pot of tomato chicken soup during the winters in California and it was always the best thing. Especially the next day, when all the flavors would have co-mingled properly. This is my version of that soup, a tomato chicken soup with barley.
One of the things I find interesting about this soup is that the tomato, red pepper and onions are blended in Nigerian style. I never asked my stepmother is this was how the recipe was originally made or this was influenced by marrying into the Nigerian culture. She also tends to make her version of the soup with potatoes. Oh! Those cubes of potatoes would have soaked up so much flavor the next day.
I started making my version of this tomato chicken soup with barley when I lived in Manchester England. It was my first time experiencing a snowy winter. I am not sure how I found barley but this soup is one of the only places I eat barley. I like barley. It is soft on the outside with a bit of a bite in the middle. That’s how I cook my barley.
The thing I like about making this tomato chicken soup with barley is that I can make the barley ahead. In fact, I recommend cooking the barley separately from the broth of the soup. Barley has a lot of starch that would thicken up the soup if cooked in the broth. I prefer to add in my cooked grains of barley into the soup at the last stage.
Tomato Chicken Soup With Barley
A lovely soup filled with vegetables and barley. The tomato chicken soup is easy and quick since the broth does the work of bringing in the flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 can tomato puree
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Onion
- 1 bunch Lacinato Kale chopped
- 1 cup barley cooked
- 1/2 cup Mirepoix
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
Blend the tomato puree, red pepper, chili flakes, onion, and garlic together in food processor until smooth.
In a large pot, add in the vegetable oil. Heat the oil for a minute or two before adding in the mirepoix. Season with some salt and then cook the mirepoix for about 4-5minutes until soft and translucent.
Add in the tomato mix into the pot along with the chicken broth. Bring up to boil, then reduce heat and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add in the kale and allow that to cook and reduce into the soup for about 5 minutes before adding in the cooked barley. Check that the salt is balanced and adjust is necessary
Let the soup simmer for a couple minutes before serving.
I use a homemade chicken broth when I make this soup. This why I don’t need to worry about seasoning the soup because all the flavor is in the broth. I have a recipe here for how I make chicken broth at home.
My darling Boston has been experiencing a warmer than expected winter, so far. The lack of cold has meant that I have developed a robust appetite for soups as I usually do. This week, we had a bit of a cold snap when the temperature dropped into the teens from the mid-30s. It was a wonderful opportunity to make this carrot curry soup.
The truth is that I don’t know if I really like carrots. I am a bit of a picky eater. There are certain foods I only tolerate in specific preparations. Carrots are one of those. I can only seem to eat my carrots in soup form. Any other preparation and I am not likely going to be a fan. Although, there are a few salad options I have tried and liked.
I, overwhelmingly, prefer to taste the full range of flavors on my vegetables. One of the things that draws me to this Carrot Curry Soup is how insanely robust and flavorful it is. There is no hiding from the carrot in this soup. The roasting of the carrot to get that caramelization completely changes the way it presents itself in the soup. The carrot suddenly has both a sweet and salty taste on the tongue. This is one of my favorite things about this soup
As the name Carrot Curry Soup suggests, the curry paste is an important part of this production. Finding a good red curry paste makes a difference in this soup. I usually buy a popular brand that I have used and liked for years. Toasting the curry paste a bit before cooking is something I learned from reading South East Asian recipes. It gives the curry a chance to develop a heavenly fragrance while waking up dormant oils.
There is a bit of a choose your adventure to making soup. You can make it as thick or as thin as you desire. I personally prefer this carrot curry soup so thick it feels like a mousse. The feel of air on the tongue is one that makes quite a difference when eating this.
I have served this carrot curry soup with an insanely flavorful Walnut Cilantro pesto sauce that is still in testing. Hopefully, I can get that recipe out to you soon.
Please try the recipe and let me know what you think.
Carrot Curry Soup
Delightful use of carrot and red curry paste to create a warming winter soup.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
- 1 pound Carrot peeled and quartered
- 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
- 13.5 oz Full Fat Coconut Milk this basically one can of coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 inches ginger chopped
- Salt to taste
The first step is roasting the carrots. Put the carrots on a baking sheet, add in two tablespoons of coconut oil and some salt. Mix it so that everything is well coated. Place in an oven that has been preheated to 400F. Roast for 25 minutes or until carrots is well browned.
In a medium-sized pot, heat up the leftover coconut oil. Add in the chopped garlic and ginger. Sauteed at medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the red pepper paste. Keep stirring and heating until the paste mixture is fragrant.
Pour the coconut milk as well as 2-3 cups of water. Stir until the paste is well dissolved into the liquid. Add in the roasted carrots. Let it boil at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
Let soup cool down a bit before attempting to blend, for safety reasons. Once it is cool enough to handle, blend soup until smooth. This can easily be done in a food processor or blender.
*I like to blend the soup for a long time to whisk some air into it. This gives it a mousse like texture when you are eating it.
*Also, I serve mine with a tangy walnut cilantro paste sometimes. This adds a serious depth of flavor to the bowl. The recipe for that is here.