Orange-Thyme Chicken and Ham/Barley Soup

This weekend I wanted something on the lighter side.  The weather was perfect – low 80s – so salads and summer-y dishes were an option.  But the evenings were cool and it is January with football on, so soup sounded really good.  So … I went with both.

The soup was all home-made.  I started with the ham bone from the ham we had at Thanksgiving (yes, I kept it) and used that with some carrots, onion and celery for a nice broth. I let that simmer for a few hours, strained it, added new chopped carrots, celery, a can of diced tomatoes, some ham and barley.  Let it simmer for a little while longer and you have soup.  Really, really good soup.  Light, a little smokey, and lots of flavor.  I know what I am having for lunch this week.

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Lunch was a little more summer-y.  I had made a similar salad a few months ago with all the fall flavors. This time I didn’t have sage or apple juice (and I know now not to attempt juicing my own apples) so I went with a citrus/thyme marinade.  So … juice of one lemon, juice of one orange, thyme, chopped scallions and some crushed garlic with a little bit of olive oil.  Marinade overnight (because we decided to have it today instead of yesterday). Pan fried with no oil – just drain the marinade and whatever was left was enough.  The salad was just lettuce, craisons, pecans, roasted butternut squash and a dressing of juice of one orange, olive oil, thyme, scallions and garlic.  That was it.  Nice, light and probably pretty good for you.

IMG_0778 I would like to say Jessie was looking at me like this because she loves my cooking so much that she HAD to have some.  I would like to say that, but in all honesty, I had a vanilla Oreo in my hand when I took this.  Yes, the very terrible for you, no redeeming nutritional value Oreo.  And not even the chocolate ones.  But … well, …. no, no excuse.  I just wanted some.  And I did share.  But I loved the picture and it isn’t often we can get one where she is looking at you, so …

Happy eating – I have a few things on the menu this week.  Hopefully work will cooperate and I will get home in time to actually cook them this week.

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