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Sausage and Barley Soup with Vegetables

The kitchen at a camp, like a restaurant, ends up with a fair amount of leftovers at the end of a day.  And while it does not excuse folks from starting soups with fresh vegetables, it is a good idea to plan menus around what you know you can do with the leftovers.  It is a great idea to save your meat-sauces to start chili, and to save your vegetables to start vegetable soup.

Today I am starting with some sausage, browning it up in olive oil and fresh garlic.  This browning will give the soup stock some color and rich flavor.  I am going to toast/roast some barley in a dry caste-iron pan - no oil or just a touch - 'til it gets just a bit darkened.  This will add some more robustness to the stock as well.  We'll add some crushed tomatoes to some steamed vegetables and get them simmering in a separate pot with some water.

Fresh garlic will be added to the simmering pot along with ground pepper and cumin.  Once this starts to simmer I'll add the sausage and the barley.  As this is simmering I'll start a fresh pan of mirepoix.  That'll get added last.  Once all of the ingredients are added you can begin the process of tasting.  More water can be added, and some more cumin if you need it.  I also save the basil for last.  Keep playing with the tastes 'til it arrives at today's perfection.

Enjoy yourself while cooking; it gets more love cooked into the soup!

Ciao,

Tom +

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