Discovery of the day: Houseguests rule!

I am very lucky that our houseguest is a foodie and enjoys the same sort of foods we do. Since my SO and Guest are home this week while I toil away here at work (snort!) they are in charge of planning and executing dinners. I win!

Sunday they made this Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Kale from the NY Times. Instead of dried porcini, they used some of the pounds of dried shiitakes I bought at Costco many moons ago. We had extra kale (about 13 oz) and added a can of diced tomatoes and some chopped carrots. I was surprised that we already had everything on hand except the fresh mushrooms. That was pretty cool.

It was darned tasty, and I didn't have to make it! Next time I would either use just the recommended amount of kale, and/or increase the liquid. Lets just say there wasn't a lot of available broth when all was said and done. Also, Guest it very sparing with the salt and I would probably use more, especially at the beginning to build the flavor. This soup did put a serious dent in my chicken stock stash, though. Next time I'll use a quart of stock and the rest water.

Speaking of stock, my initial batch is down to one lonely 2 cup bag in the freezer already. Next time I might make a double batch, if I have a pot big enough. Sounds crazy, but I just might -- SO used to brew beer. Once I get that batch done I'll post my recipe, I promise.

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