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Creamy Ham and Leek Soup


2 small leeks
2 small onions
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
¾ cup (175 mL) pot or pearl barley
1 cup (250 mL) chopped cooked ham or chicken
2 tbsp (30 mL) whole barley flour
8 cups (2 L) low salt chicken or vegetable broth or water
¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper
2 egg yolks, optional
½ cup (125 mL) cream or milk
Chopped parsley

Cut leeks in half lengthwise and wash carefully. Chop leeks, onions, carrots, celery and garlic. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Sauté chopped vegetables and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add barley and ham or chicken and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Stir in the flour, then gradually add broth or water and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, adding more liquid if necessary. Remove from heat. If using egg yolks, mix into the cream or milk and stir into the soup. Heat, stirring constantly, until soup thickens, but do not boil. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 152
Protein: 8 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g
Fibre: 4 g
Sugars: 3 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 18 mg
Sodium: 264 mg
Potassium: 197 mg