WINTER VEGETABLE AND BARLEY CHOWDER
  • ½ cup Barley
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced smoked ham
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced peeled rutabaga
  • 1 leek, white part only, rinsed well and chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Soak the barley in water for 6 hours or overnight.

Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add the ham; cook until the edges turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic; cook 3 minutes longer. Add the carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, leek and cabbage. Cook, covered, 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes. Add the barely and cook for 15 minutes more

Reduce the heat to low, and slowly stir the cream into the chowder. Warm the chowder through, but do not allow it to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, the thyme, and the nutmeg. Just before serving, sprinkle the surface of the chowder with cheese. Serves 6 to 8.