I have a new passion... Instagram! Yeah, I know the rest of the world discovered it when men were still living in caves and wiping their backsides on badgers, but it's a very recent discovery for me... AND. I. LOVE. IT.
I sort of knew it was there, but honestly wondered what all the fuss was about. Then about a week ago I was bored and somehow or other I downloaded the App. I no longer remember why. I no longer care why. I just know that I. LOVE. IT.
All of a sudden, every opportunity is a photographic one... taking the dog for a walk, meeting my oldest BFF - Kerry - at the beach for lunch and a stroll, the cat snoozing, the cat stretching, the dog eyeballing me while I should be taking her for a walk.... fooooood (obviously). I even took a photo of the washing blowing on the line. Oh yes I did. Didn't share that one though. That would have been passé.
There's a heck of a lot of feet, on instagram. Just random photographs of feet. I've painted my toenails (and shaved my toes) just in case I'm over taken by an incredible compulsion to point my phone-cam downwards and click away.
I'm fairly sure I will. In fact... I might have already succumbed.
If you wanna see what colour my toenails are, come say hello at abbes_antics ;)
I really should try to remember the point of all this, shouldn't I. There is a recipe, there always is. It's soup. Or stew, depending on what time of day it is and how hungry you are. This one is "to die for"...
... much like my undercoating.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Serves 5 - 6
Prep time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 40 minutes
Total time - 50 minutes
You will need
A large saucepan/skillet
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion - chopped
2 carrots - peeled and chopped
1 tbsp (heaped) harissa paste
1 garlic clove - crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp - dried basil
100g pearl barley
2 x 14oz/400g cans chopped tomatoes
40fl oz/ 2 pints/1.2 Litres Vegetable Stock
200g cooked chicken - chopped
100g dried *ready to eat* apricots - chopped (Or same weight of sultanas)
14oz/400g can chickpeas - drained
large pinch salt
small bunch coriander/cilantro - chopped
Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until beginning to soften - about 5 minutes. Add the harissa paste, garlic, oregano and basil and cook for a minute before stirring in the pearl barley.
Add the canned tomatoes and vegetable stock, stir it all in and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes. Don't stick a lid on it, it'll gently thicken and reduce as it cooks.
Add the chicken, chickpeas and apricots and 3/4 of the chopped coriander - cook for another 15 minutes. Season with salt and serve with remaining coriander scattered on top.
NOTE: If you don't have any fresh coriander/cilantro - try adding the juice of half a lemon right at the end, just before serving. It really makes a difference.
Adapted from Sainsbury's Magazine.