On these cold days of the January freeze, soup is always a welcome item on my menus. One of my favorites is barley soup, to which I add several veggies, which can be changed to your liking. Also,if you use more barley than the recipe calls for, you will have barley stew, which is also good. So, either way, this dish is great for cold, winter days.
Bring on the Barley Soup/Stew
Utensils: Large soup pot, cutting board & knife
Prep Time: About 15 minutes (Can be made in advance)
Cooking Time: About one hour, simmering most of the time
Note: Barley Soup/Stew takes awhile to put together, but because it can be made in advance, you can make it the day before or night before you need it.
6 cups water or stock
1/4-1/2 cup organic, rinsed, pearled barley*
1/2 c. diced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1/2 c. diced leeks or onions
1 org. carrot, scrubbed slicedï¿½
1 cup peas or string beans, cut into thirds (optional)
one small potato, diced
salt, pepper, tamari soy sauce and spices to taste
1. Bring water or soup stock to a boil in large pot.
2. In the meantime, scrub and slice the leeks (or onion), carrot, and dice the potato. Add to stock.
3. When the water boils, add barley and turn heat down. Allow soup to simmer until barley has expanded and is soft.
4. If you use stock, add fewer spices; if using water, add salt and pepper (or tamari soy sauce) and spices to taste. I use garlic in my stock, so if you are using water, add one or two garlic cloves to the water.
5. If you want to add peas or string beans, add them after the soup has been simmering at least 1/2 hour.
6. Eat while warm and enjoy! (The word joy is part of enjoy, so this is my first recipe that can be eaten joyfully, since it is warm and filling.)
* I purchase Arrowhead Mills Organic Pearled Barley. Their recipe for soup on the package calls for 1/4 cup barley to 6 cups water or broth. I found that to “thin,” so I doubled the barley. You may need to adjust the amount of barley by trial and error, since when I did so, I ended up with stew.
P.S. I garnished this with sprouted sunflower greens, but you can use parley or croutons.