Soup-e-Jou (Barley Soup)

1 whole chicken breast
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
1 cup barley
1/4 cup butter
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Salt & Red pepper

Clean the chicken breast and cut it through the breast bone into 2 pieces.  Put the chicken, onion and carrot in a 2 quart pot and cover with water.  Add salt and red pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then lower the fire to medium, cover the pot and let simmer about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.
While the chicken is boiling, wash and drain the barley.  Put it in a separate pot and cover it with about an inch of water.  Bring it to a boil then lower the fire just enough for the barley to simmer.  Cook until the barley is very tender and most of the water has been absorbed.  Cover, turn off the fire and set aside until the chicken is ready.
When the chicken is tender, remove the chicken and vegetables from the broth.  There should be about 4 cups of broth.  Keep the broth on a medium fire.  Add the barley and any remaining water to the broth.  Dice the cooked onion and carrots and add to the broth.  (Save the chicken breast for Zereshk Pollo or Salad Olivier.)
Melt the butter, add the flour and stir well until all is well mixed and liquid.  If the mixture is too dry, add more butter.  Immediately add the milk and stir constantly.  The mixture should begin to thicken quickly.  As soon as it begins to bubble remove from the fire and add to the chicken broth.  Cover and let simmer about 1/2 hour.  Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 3 – 4


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