BARLEY/LEEK SOUP WITH PAN-SEARED SHRIMP

Kicked up my lunch to a satisfying and nutritious notch. Went with one of autumn’s popular vegetables, leeks. These sweet and subtle flavors were excellent to pair with barley.

PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP
PREPPING FOR LEEK AND BARLEY SOUP

Did it my way by adding other fresh/pantry ingredients like:

  • onions
  • carrot
  • celery
  • veggie bouillon cube
  • salt/black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • fresh thyme
  • veggie broth

After sauteing fresh veggies including leeks in a drizzle of olive oil, rinsed barley was added along with dried seasoning. Veggie broth and cold tap water were added along with a sprig of thyme.

Barley/leek soup simmered under low to medium heat until barley was tender. Then, this was pureed to a thick consistency. Barley/leek soup was topped with pan-seared shrimp with a garnish parsley.

FISH HEADS RULE!! #FISH BROTH (TEA)

I had just finished my morning’s work out and my endorphins were kicking. Moreover, I had all this pent-up energy within. What did I do? I headed for my kitchen and grabbed a couple of snapper fish that I had reserved for tomorrow’s dinner. Immediately I had a clear plan. I grabbed my cutting board and butcher’s knife and went chopping.

Those big guys stood erect and stared back at me. Their eyes were brilliant as they ogled me. It was as if they were beckoning me to come and get them. And I did. I took my knife and gently but firmly removed their heads, and set them aside. Where I come from, we don’t toss these.

Funny how a couple of fish heads bring back heart-warming memories when things were simple. You see, my dad used to bring home these King fish heads at least once a week. And mom being that ‘iron chef’ that she was turned out some mouth-watering fish broths for the entire family (well, it was one of dad’s favorites). In Jamaica, we call it ‘fish tea’. It’s a cross between soup and broth. It’s an excellent starter for a meal.

So, with that in mind, I decided to replicate my dear mom’s fish tea. I gathered a few root vegetables and fish heads.

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FISH BROTH (TEA)
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FISH BROTH (TEA)

With a few rough chops I added same to stock pot and allowed them to simmer under low to medium heat. I also added veggie bouillon and seasoned along with a pinch of jerk sauce, crushed garlic,thyme, pimento and salt and black pepper to taste.

FISH BROTH (TEA) SIMMERING
FISH BROTH (TEA) SIMMERING

Close to the end I tossed in a few pieces of blanched chopped okra I had in the freezer.

In less than half an hour my fish tea was ready for serving. In my broth (tea), I don’t strain; everything¬† is consumed. It’s vital to be careful of all those bones. I don’t worry. By now, I’m a pro!

FINISHED FISH BROTH (TEA)
FINISHED FISH BROTH (TEA)

I know what I’ll be having for a light lunch today. I’ll pair with some crusty English muffins with a smear of butter. By then, I’ll be relaxed and ready for a siesta. By the way, the rest of the fish (body) will be done up in an escovitched. I can’t wait.