Goose, Barley, and White Bean Soup

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One of my earliest memories of my grandmother involves this soup. We lived on the same farm as she and my grandfather (JI Rodale), and her kitchen was always open for us to run in and out of. My little brother and I were raised like farm animals and found food wherever we could, and once—on one very special day—she had made this soup and sat me down at her little round kitchen table and served it in a formal white china bowl with good silver and a linen napkin. I can still picture it in my mind and taste it in my heart. I never got a recipe from her (she wasn’t a recipe kind of woman), but I have recreated it by taste.

It’s a very simple soup. You could substitute chicken broth, but there is something very rich and wonderful about goose broth that makes it just perfect. Of course, in order to make goose broth, you need to roast a goose first and eat every morsel. I highly, highly recommend roast goose for a perfect autumn or winter meal.

To make the broth, all you need to do is boil and simmer the carcass in water for a few hours until it looks like broth, then strain the gunk out of it. It’s easy! All it takes is time. And salt. Don’t forget the salt. All broths need a good amount of salt to taste right. If you don’t want to make soup right away, you can freeze the broth for later. That’s what I did!

Goose, Barley and White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 cups goose broth
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 can beans
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Make the goose broth, or thaw it from the freezer and heat it in a pot.
  2. In a separate pan, cook the barley according to instructions.
  3. When the barley is done, add it to the broth.
  4. Put a can of white beans into the soup (I drain most of the liquid from it).
  5. Salt, pepper to taste.

Put it into a bowl and feel the love!

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6 Responses to Goose, Barley, and White Bean Soup

  1. Donna in Delaware November 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    A nice simple warming soup! Mmm, goose. We have it almost every fall or winter around the holidays. Roasted, crisp skin, lovely. Made this soup once before without the beans, and added bits of goose, onion, a little bit of chopped kale or parsley, salt and pepper, along with the barley. Served with a crispy baguette and a smidgen of fresh, creamy Irish butter. Scrumptious! Brings back memories, thank you. Nothing like granny’s food, is it?

  2. Sadhvi November 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    I make the same soup with turkey necks…browning them with some onions, celery root, carrots…whatever I have around. Cover with water, with a bay leaf and some salt, plus I add a T. of vinegar which helps to get all of the good stuff out of the bones. It’s soup weather, it’s inexpensive to make, and it makes us feel good. Thanks for posting your rendition of your grandmother’s!

  3. susan November 6, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    why in the world would anyone use beans (or anything else) from a (toxic) can when they are so easy to cook? I usually cook a large pot of beans and freeze the surplus in glass jars for later use. Bingo, good organic beans with no BPA or other toxins. Just remember to leave the lid a jar and tip the jar when freezing. So simple.

  4. Donna in Delaware November 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Usually the organic canned beans have a lining that is BPA-free. So I am sure that this is what Maria uses.

  5. Annie January 1, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    I found this recipe searching for recipes with goose stock (I have ours from Christmas). Had considered barley, but not this white bean/ barley combo. I adore the simplicity of this soup. It will be hard for me to refrain from adding lots of parsley but I would like to try. Lots of salt and pepper though. Cheers and Happy New Year!

  6. TheMikado January 17, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    Thinking about this. I am certainly making the stock. Sounds like a cannellini recipe…though they’re sometimes more difficult to locate, dry.

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