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Clam and Corn Soup with Kale and Barley

21 Sep

Yesterday, I was feeling under-the-weather enough that I stayed home from work and skipped my evening class.  So for dinner, I wanted soup.  Luckily, I had a quart of clam broth leftover from a recent clam bake at my parents house.  I also wanted something healthy.  Therefore, I knew this soup was the perfect place for the every-so-slightly wilted kale I had from our CSA pick up this past Saturday.  Kale is full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, and tons of other vitamins and nutrients.  Some leftover corn cobs (and frozen kernels) served to lend a hearty sweetness and substance to the broth.  Finally, whole grains in the form of pearled barley are also a wealth of healthy goodness.

But the healthiness of this dish isn’t the main attraction – it’s the taste.  The briney broth is infused with the sweetness of the corn, a slightly bitter herbaceousness from the kale, and a toothsome texture from the barley.  Zak bumped it up a notch by adding a leftover artichoke heart stuffed pepper.  I was happily surprised by how hearty and good this clam and corn soup was without the addition of any cream.  It still had all the lovely flavors of a chowder, but was more of a hearty soup or stew due to the lack of cream.

Clam and Corn Soup with Kale and Barley

1 quart clam broth leftover from a clam bake, or 1/2 qt. chicken broth and 1/2 qt. clam juice

1 tbs. butter, if necessary (see note below)

1 small onion, roughly chopped, if necessary (see note below)

3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, if necessary (see below)

3 cobs corn, kernels removed and reserved

1 cup pearled barley

3 cups kale, roughly chopped

[Note:  The leftover clam broth I used had some onions and garlic in it.  If you are using chicken broth/clam juice combination, first melt 1 tbs. of butter in a medium stock pot and sauté 1 small, roughly chopped onion and 3-4 cloves garlic, also roughly chopped, until tender.]

Add clam broth and corn cobs to a medium stock pot.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Add barley and cover.  Simmer over medium heat for forty five minutes to an hour, until barley is tender.

Add corn and kale.  Simmer 3-5 minutes until corn is heated through and kale is wilted.  Serve immediately.

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