This soup packs a bit of heat. If you don’t want it extra spicy, just cut back on the hot sauce (or add more, if you like it hot, hot, hot!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion (like vidalia), chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 ounces (about 2 average-sized links) of chicken kielbasa (or any smoked chicken sausage), in 1/4 inch slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper (or 1/2 tsp of fine grind)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf (2 if they’re small)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley (like this. Find it near the boxes of couscous and rice pilafs at the grocery store.)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup water
- 1–14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
- 3/4 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- In a large Dutch Oven, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, the bell pepper and the kielbasa. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything is just starting to brown, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, smoked paprika, black pepper, oregano, thyme, salt, bay leaf, jalapeno pepper, and the barley.
Cook while stirring for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, and the hot sauce (if using). Over high heat, bring pot up to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and add the shrimp. Stir lovingly. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat but keep it covered, letting everything stay cozy together for 5 minutes more.
- Just before serving, stir in the green onions, cilantro, parsley and lime juice.
(Alternatively, don’t add the last four ingredients to the pot. Instead, put the green onions, cilantro, parsley and some lime wedges into separate little serving bowls allowing everyone to sprinkle and squeeze into their own bowls to their heart’s content. Garnishing together at the table lets everyone in on the creative adventure.)