May 20, 2009

Barley and Vegetable Soup

Barley and Vegetable Soup
6 Servings

Barley has been cultivated since the Stone Age and has been fermented to make beer since not long after that. Like other cereal grains -- wheat, millet, oats, corn and rye -- barley is a great source of fiber and carbohydrates, and can also be used to make cereal, bread and soup. Folk medicine uses barley in barley water, made by simply soaking barley in water, which is reputed to be a great tonic during convalescence. "Pearl" barley is the name of the grain when it's been polished, after the husk and bran have been removed. It's the form most commonly used in soups. Grains like barley keep well. Their bulk and comparative cheapness make them a useful staple, especially at this soup-worthy time of the year, so be sure to keep some in your cupboard.

3/4 cup medium pearl barley
11 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
salt to taste
1/2 bunch parsley

1. In a saucepan, combine the barley and 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and add the onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cover and sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.

3. Add the remaining vegetable stock and simmer 30 minutes, covered.

4. Add the barley and simmer 5 minutes more. Add salt to taste and ladle into bowls. Serve garnished with some chopped fresh parsley.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
203 calories
5 g total fat (0 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
34 g carbohydrate
7 g protein
5 g fiber
150 mg sodium

-Recipe reprinted with permission of

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