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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The pumpkins and squash are harvested, the house decorated for Halloween and family are arriving for the weekend.  Autumn is my favourite time of year even when Old Man Winter is creeping around the corner.   I am experimenting with recipes, trying to find scrumptious fattening items to offer to any visitors once the barn is finished and we are officially “open”.   Daniel and Shawn, who are building the barn, are my guinea pigs.  I haven’t heard any complaints yet.  Yesterday, they sampled a batch of Chocolate Mounds (a soft cookie of cocoa, butterscotch and walnuts).  Today, the twins are home with a virus.  Probably a consequence of preschool saliva.  Time for soup.  Thankfully the weather has been kind and I can open the windows.  We are looking forward to the long weekend spending time with my sisters-in-law and the Cape Cod cousins.  A trip to Sutton Mountain, apple picking and just hanging out.   We miss not having family close by.  I envy those who live within miles of their parents or siblings.  A quick phone call and help is always nearby.  That being said, I cannot complain.  The children are happy.  They love life, in spite of the occasional bully at school or the not so fun horseback riding lesson where the horse “just doesn’t want to listen, Mommy”.   

So, I will sign off now, put some nice music on and probably conjure up a pot of soup.  Maybe try this one:

Homemade Chicken Soup for the Soul

3 x 1 L containers of chicken stock (look for low-sodium, organic)
2 large tins of diced tomatoes, including the juice
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup Veggie Soup Mix (any combo of different types of dried peas and beans)
3/4 cup barley
1-2 cups of diced chicken

Sea salt, pepper and any spices you like (i.e. oregano or parsley). You may also wish to add garlic, which is an incredible immunity builder.
Heat up the chicken stock in a large pot and add the diced tomatoes, including the juice. Add a little water if you want to change the consistency of the soup or the taste of the broth. Add all the remaining ingredients and cook on the stove over medium to low heat until the veggies, barley and  soup mix are tender (yes, it's THAT easy). You could let it simmer for a few hours. At the very end, add 1 to 2 cups of diced cooked chicken.
This soup can be put into jars and frozen, but it's so good you will probably want to eat it all in one week. Make sure you leave about 1/2 - 1 inch between the top of the soup and the lid to leave room for the liquid to expand when it freezes.

Have a great day out there!