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Saturday
Jan092010

Bean and Barley Veggie Soup 

 We’re heading into the depths of winter, folks, and we’re going to need fortification.  We’re going to need warmth and comfort and love.  Oh, we’re also going to need soup.  I love this particular one - its simple, lovely broth has made it one of my very favorites.   As it happens, this is also perhaps the easiest in my repertoire of soups.  It can be simple and austere, or flagrant in its bounty, whatever your mood or contents of your pantry/fridge.

There is nothing extraordinary about this soup; it's really quite simple.  I start with the basics… a little chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, and herbs which sauté until soft and fragrant. Lentils and barley, and a diced potato go in, followed by whatever beans and veggies I might feel like throwing in.  I always seem to have shredded cabbage or fresh spinach around, but also like to add cauliflower, green beans or zucchini.  Today I had some leftover asparagus to throw in the pot. 

After I get my beans and barley and veggies in the pot, I pour in enough water to cover it all by about 2 inches.  Yes, I said water.  Just plain ‘ol real water.  No need to start with chicken or vegetable stock.  We have a pot full of vegetables and aromatics and we'll make our own vegetable stock as this simmers, and one with bright, fresh clear flavors.

Just partially cover the pot (I leave it open just a millimeter) , bring it to a quiet boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for an hour.  After about ½ hour you will begin to notice some very lovely aromas emanating from within.  After an hour, turn off the heat, stir, and let it sit for a few more minutes before serving.  You can top this with a little grated cheese if you like, but it really doesn’t need it.  Oh my. Simple really can be extraordinary.

Bean and Barley Veggie Soup
For a Printable Recipe, click here

1 or 2 Tblsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried thyme
2 stalks of celery, with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup lentils
½ cup barley*
1 or 2 waxy potatoes (like red or white creamer), cut into chunks
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Any chopped veggies you would like to add (zucchini, green beans, cabbage or asparagus
About 7 or 8 cups of water, or enough to cover by 2”
2 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large-ish soup pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots.  Saute for several minutes and then add the dried marjoram, thyme and tomato paste.  Add the salt and pepper, stir, and let this saute for a few more minutes. 

Add the barley and the lentils and whatever veggies you are adding and then add enough water to cover by about 2 inches.  Stir to combine, cover partially, and let simmer for about an hour.

Remove from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving.  Can top with grated parmesan cheese and more chopped fresh parsley.

*Note:  hulless barley has more of the whole grain than pearled barley, but either is fine here.  If not adding veggies, increase the amount of barley to ¾ cup.

Reader Comments (15)

That's a beautiful photo!! Nice work.

January 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Thanks, Thomas!

January 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This looks absolutely delicious! I'd love to feature it on my site with full credit and links back to you if you are keen! Looking forward to hearing from you!

January 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCari

I live in the tropics and even in this heat, I want a bowl of that!

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthecoffeesnob

I hope you make this, coffeesnob. I make it all summer long with fresh veggies from the garden.

January 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thanks for stopping in, Cari. Glad you liked the recipe and would like to use it. That would be great.

January 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

mmm--beans make it delicious, barley makes it hearty and healthy. actually, beans do that too. what a great soup for a frigid winter day!

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergrace

I agree, Grace. Delicious, hearty, healthy, and warming. What's better?

January 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This soup seems fantastic, I love chunky vegetable soups and I love that this version has a tomato base. It really does seem like the ideal winter fortification, just the thing I will need to get through a Montreal winter.

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrenchie

Our winter here in Nebraska has been abominable, but I can only imagine how cold a Montreal winter must be. You definitely need soup!! I hope you make this soup and wish you warmth!

January 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This old time soup recipe reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in rural Southern Indiana where my family operated an old-fashion general store. We sold everything from kerosene and gas to fresh sliced luncheon meats and cheeses.

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAiza2010

This old-fashioned recipe is also a healthy one. Give it a try for an old-fashioned healthy, tasty meal. Just add a crusty whole-grain bread or muffin and you have a healthy meal!

April 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulius

thank you.

เกมส์

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergame online

This recipe is good for health, it gives energy to body and keep ward in cold weather.

This recipes looks sooooo preaty and delicious ....

I love to eat it......

October 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersumon 1487

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