Mushroom Barley Soup Small Batch for One Person

Mushroom barley soup is right near the top of my “comfort food” list.  I remember my grandma making it when I was little (and she made the best soups).  Sadly, I don’t have grandma’s recipe. She was a taste, toss, and stir sort of cook). Nothing was ever written down! My mom still mourns not having her recipe for pickles.

However, this Tori Avey recipe comes close.  Grandma wouldn’t have used fancy mushrooms, so neither did I, but you can add them if you like.

Grandma was from Poland, and as Tori Avey points out, mushrooms were a popular food there because you could dry them and store them for later use.  Barley also grew well in that climate, and could be dried and stored for the winter when other foods were less plentiful. Mushroom barley soup was popular throughout the whole country, but since observant Jews had dietary restrictions (no mixing milk and meat), there were two versions of this soup. One with just vegetables (which could be eaten with sour cream) and one with meat (more on that below).

There’s no meat in this recipe, but I did use chicken broth.  If you want a vegetarian version, you can substitute mushroom broth or vegetable stock instead.

As is, there’ s not a lot of fancy ingredients, and it’s just the thing for a chilly fall or winter day when all you want to do is snuggle inside a warm blanket in front of a fireplace. And you haven’t got a fireplace!

Also, since I’m lazy about pot cleaning, I simplified it. Only one pot! Not two or three. And I made fewer servings, because 8 is too much!




Mushroom Barley Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • use vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken
  • add upscale dried or fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or chanterelle
  • try it with flanken (short ribs, or spare ribs cut sideways with little oval bones)
  • deglaze the pan with a bit of sherry or white wine before adding the broth




More Mushroom Recipes

pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour creamPork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Prepared with a rich, creamy sauce boosted by the bite of Dijon mustard and piquant capers —both of which complement the pork beautifully. Fancy enough for guests. Simple enough for an ordinary Tuesday.

chicken with mushrooms and tarragonSingle Serving Chicken Recipe with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Tastes like you went to a fancy French restaurant, without the bill at the end of the meal. It’s ready in only 30 minutes. Sop up the buttery rich sauce with some crusty bread.

chicken mushroom skillet recipeChicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe

The perfect answer to “I’m hungry and I want food now!” No marinating, no leaving overnight. And no separate sauce to make. The entire dish comes together in a single pan.

pasta with broccoli, mushrooms, and chicken sausagePasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

When you’re hungry, pasta is your friend. Meaty mushrooms, sweet chicken sausage, and earthy broccoli are a great combination. Don’t have those exact ingredients? Mix and match with spicier sausage, asparagus, more bell pepper, or sugar snap peas.

Mulligatawny Soup Recipe

We tend to think of “fusion” foods as a new idea: Asian/Cuban, Mexican/Jewish and so on and so on.  The truth is people have been mixing and matching cuisines ever since we started exploring (or on a less positive note, colonizing).  The bright side is that exposure to new spices, flavorings, and cooking techniques can be a springboard for creative new dishes.  Mulligatawny soup (which means pepper-water) is one such “fusion” food.  It’s a mixture of Indian Tamil and British cooking. The Tamil cuisine brings the spiciness and the British added the meat.

This particular version of the recipe is adapted from Foodaholic.  Her recipe uses red lentils (which I didn’t have). However I asked her and she said lots of recipes use rice instead. I had that, so rice it is!

I don’t have garlic paste, so I took a garlic clove and smashed it to smithereens. Just chop it up finely and then swipe the flat of a wide knife over it.  Or, if you don’t mind a bit of extra cleanup, put it in a mini-chopper or a garlic press.

Finally, I used a chicken thigh, rather than chicken breast (which she uses because of picky kids). I think the chicken thigh has a better, richer flavor and I don’t have to worry about pleasing fussy eaters.

I did follow her lead in only using one pot. I can’t stand extra cleanup!

If you want the soup creamier and more elegant, remove part of it from the pan and puree the rest with a stick blender. If not, just cook it another 10 minutes for a more rustic texture.

This will make about three servings of soup. Eat one right away and save the rest in separate containers for another day.




Mulligatawny Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • If you like spicier food, add some chopped fresh green chilis
  • Top the soup with yogurt or try some coconut milk to counter the heat
  • Add some curry powder
  • Put in some chopped apple for sweetness

More Indian Chicken Recipes

royal chicken in yogurtIndian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

A name fit for royalty, but anyone can eat (and prepare this dish easily). Nothing to chop, just mix up some spices, add yogurt, and simmer.

 

Jewish chicken curry chitarneeJewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

I bet you weren’t expecting the words “Jewish” and “Curry” to go together. But they do. Not spicy, but rather warm, comforting, and aromatic.

 

curried chicken soupCurried Chicken Soup

Delicious soup with very little effort. It only takes an hour to make and uses frozen or long-lasting veggies.  No chopping either (other than a carrot). I did say low-effort. 🙂

 

one person chicken curryEasy Chicken Curry Recipe

A few basic ingredients get together and bring you dinner in minutes.  Only one pot too!

 

 




Quick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup

Every year after the holidays are over, we all end up with lots of leftover turkey. Lots and lots of it.  I’ve made a lot of the “standard” leftover turkey soup, with potatoes and carrots and broccoli.  This time I wanted something with more zip.  I had some turkey (naturally), some tomatoes, lime, and of course spices, so I decided to go for a south of the border flavor.  So, spicy leftover turkey soup was born.

Ironically, a friend (who translates books from English to Spanish) once told me there are no turkeys in South America, which made her job rather difficult when she had to translate some turkey recipes.

I suppose that makes this not strictly authentic Mexican food.  Authentic or not, the tangy lime, the spicy cayenne, and the cool sour cream make the soup flavorful, rich, and satisfying.




Quick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup Substitutions and Variations

Since recipes are often meant to be guidelines, and since we don’t always have the exact ingredients handy, here are some substitutions:

  • If you don’t have a turkey carcass, use turkey thighs, depending on size, one or two should do it.
  • I used navy beans for the soup, you could use white kidney beans or pinto beans
  • Replace the diced tomatoes with 1/2 C peeled tomatoes (and smush them up)
  • Add a handful of frozen corn
  • Top with crumbled tortilla chips, or cut up some tortillas, fry them, and sprinkle them on top of the soup for extra crunch.

More Turkey Recipes

cranberry chipotle turkey enchiladaCranberry Chipotle Turkey Enchilada

A delicious way to use up holiday leftovers and transform the flavors.  This is sweet, spicy, and tangy too.

 

sweet and sour jelly turkey meatballsSweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs

Remember those jelly meatballs you had as a kid? They’ve now grown up and gotten more complex.  Less sweet, more spicy.

 

easy leftover turkey soupEasy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

The classic leftover turkey soup, chock-full of potatoes, carrots, and (shhh) frozen veggies. Why chop if you don’t have to?

 

turkey pot pie for one personTurkey Pot Pie for One Person

Tender turkey, sweet peas and carrots all wrapped in a flaky all-butter crust. Make the crust (as I did) or buy one. It’s all good.

 




Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

This easy leftover turkey soup recipe is great for a chilly spring or fall day.

It’s also a good way to use up cooked turkey after a holiday (just add the turkey during the final cooking stage).

Note: You’ll need a Dutch oven for this (since the pot has to go first on the stove, and then in the oven). If you don’t have one, use a soup pot and make the whole thing on the stove.

If you don’t have any leftover turkey handy,  use turkey thighs instead.

I had seen some boneless turkey thighs in the store, and bought them without really having a plan in mind for what to do with them.

I went searching on the internet for turkey soup and found a recipe for turkey stew, but that wasn’t quite what I wanted.  Plus, I didn’t have all the ingredients (since I hadn’t known I was going to make it!)

The original recipe called for celery,  turnips, and rutabaga (I’ve never met a rutabaga), none of which I had on hand.

So, I figured I would improvise and use what I did have to make soup.

A quick look in the pantry and fridge, turned up some potatoes, plus the turkey, a package of frozen veggies, and an open bottle of Riesling.  The original recipe also called for Herbs de Provence, which I didn’t have either, so I threw together some basil, tarragon, and thyme.




It came out really well! And, as a bonus, it warmed up my apartment beautifully.

This is a small batch recipe, and makes about 4-6 portions. Eat one and freeze the rest. Or, keep eating it all week (so you don’t have to cook again).

If you still need to use up more leftover turkey, or want a different flavor, check out this spicy turkey soup recipe.

More Delicious Small Batch Soup Recipes

easy spicy turkey soupQuick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup

Want a bit more kick? This south-of-the-border flavored turkey soup has lime, cumin, and cayenne, tempered with cool sour cream on top.

 

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

This is originally made with chicken, but turkey would work just fine too.  It could likely stand up to a more assertive hand with the spices too.

 


spicy beef noodle soup
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

Clear your head, inhale deeply, and savor the fragrance. Ahhh. Only requires a few minutes work and pantry ingredients.

 

caldo verde soupCaldo Verde Soup

No leftover turkey here, though I suppose you could use turkey sausage, or extra turkey and amp up the spices with extra paprika, cayenne, and salt. But, it’s a quick soup with spicy sausage, potatoes, and bright spinach.