Breathe Easy

Asian Barley Soup with Ginger Meatballs:

There’s nothing more annoying than a deep and uncontrollable cough that makes your brain hurt from the sheer act of it. After being diagnosed with bronchitis and days of non-stop coughing, I was filled with the need for a comforting and healing soup. Not the kind of soup your grandmother would make, but something uniquely different with some kick. Ginger has long been prized for both its culinary and medicinal properties. Asian Barley Soup with Ginger MeatballsAromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavor and zest to any cuisine. It also delivers important healing benefits, including pain relief from arthritis, chest pain, stomach pain, upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis. Lucky us, as we had a plethora of fresh ginger on hand, which was the secret ingredient for this recipe. The shiitake mushrooms added a rich earthly flavor, and the barley delivered a thick and creamy finish. The Asian infused mini meatballs offered subtle hints of hoisin and soy, and with a strong finish from the Chinese Five Spice. All in all, a very satisfying soup. As I sit here and write this, my cough has subsided, my brain is no longer thrashing, and my belly is content.


TIP: Meatballs can be made ahead

Asian Barley Soup with Ginger Meatballs

For Soup

  • Dried Shiitake mushrooms (5 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • Onion (1, chopped)
  • Garlic (3 cloves, minced)
  • Gingerroot (1 inch piece, peeled)
  • Parsnip (1 large, diced)
  • Celery (2, diced)
  • Butter (2 Tbsp)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (3 cup, sliced)
  • Coriander seeds (1 Tbsp, crushed in mortar & pestal)
  • White Wine (1/2 cup)
  • Barley (1
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Beef Stock (6 cups)
  1. Place dried mushrooms into bowl and submerge in ½ cup boiling water. Let rest for 30 minutes, and then remove mushrooms squeezing to release all liquid. Reserve mushroom liquid. Remove stems from mushrooms, finely chop and then set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm oil then add onion, garlic, parsnip, and celery. Cook for 2 minutes, then add butter and both mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add wine and cook for 1 minute, then add barley. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add, gingerroot piece, stock and reserved mushroom liquid. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour. Remove gingerroot piece and discard.
  5. Add meatballs to soup and cook for additional 10 minutes.

For Meatballs

  • Ground Beef (1/2 lb)
  • Onion (1/4 cup, chopped)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Cilantro (1/4 cup,chopped)
  • Gingerroot (1 Tbsp, minced)
  • Coriander (3 tsp)
  • Cayenne (1/2 tsp)
  • Chinese Five spice (1 tsp)
  • Salt (1/4 tsp)
  • Fresh black pepper (1/4 tsp)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Panko (1/2 cup)
  • Olive oil (1 Tbsp)
  1. Combine all ingredients and then fold in panko.
  2. Form into small round balls and set on baking sheet.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté meatballs in olive oil until just crisp, turning each to cook all sides.
  4. Add sauce and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

For Sauce

  • Hoisin sauce (3 Tbsp)
  • Rice wine vinegar (1 Tbsp)
  • Soy sauce (1 Tbsp)
  • Sake (1 Tbsp)
  • Mirin (1 Tbsp)
  • Sesame oil (2 tsp)
  • Garlic (1 clove, minced)
  • Gingerroot (1 tsp, minced)
  1.  In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients to combine.

Asian Barley Soup with Ginger Meatballs

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 32°F;
  • Humidity: 73%;
  • Heat Index: 32°F;
  • Wind Chill: 32°F;
  • Pressure: 30.33 in.;

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