Just before I moved to Poland, my friend Charlotte gave me this recipe for butternut squash and barely soup. She had tasted it at a church dinner the week before, and tracked it down. She said that she knew I’d like it, and after all, a woman moving to Poland should have a really good soup recipe in her hip pocket.
This soup would have hit the spot when I arrived last March, but butternut squash was not to be found. It’s now autumn – soup weather again, and I still haven’t come across butternut squash. Determined to make this highly praised soup, I substituted sweet potatoes.
I was a little worried when I read about adding 2 inch cubes of raw butternut squash. I was imagining very large cooked chunks of squash that would need to be cut with the side of a spoon as you were eating. I chickened out and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes. I shouldn’t have worried. The sweet potato (and I expect the squash will too) sort of disintegrated becoming part of the broth and adding great flavor, color and texture. The soup was delicious and one that I know I’ll make often because it was so easy. Preparing it as I did with 2 sweet potatoes, the soup has 118 calories per cup and over 5 grams of fiber.
The recipe butternut squash and barley soup was submitted by Faye Pietsch and published in the February 2007 issue of Guideposts.
1 turkey wing (or leg, I used 3 turkey drumettes)
1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, coarsely diced
5 parley sprigs, minced
10 sage leaves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups barley
- Place all ingredients except the barley in a large soup pot with 16 cups of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cook for 45 minutes.
- Add the barley and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the turkey from the soup and let it cool.
- Pick the turkey meat from the bones, cutting into bite-sized pieces if necessary, return to the soup.
- It’s ready to serve.
- If you’re reheating and find the soup is thicker than you’d like, just add a little water.
PS – Ed took this soup to work, and Major Demel felt that this soup was missing one classic Polish ingredient. . . sausage!!! I have to admit he’s right; it would be a great addition. If you’re not counting calories, tossing a little kielbasa in with all of the other ingredients wouldn’t hurt.