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Vegetable Barley Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

A splash of olive oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups frozen peas or green beans (or mix)
Basil, oregano, garlic powder to taste
8 cups vegetable broth
1 large can of diced tomatoes, including liquid
3/4 to 1 cup dried pearl barley (more barley will make the broth thicker).

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the olive oil in soup pot on medium low heat.

2. Add carrot, onion and celery. Add a dash of salt. Cook until vegetables are soft.

3. Add basil, oregano and garlic powder. Continue to cook for a few more minutes.

4. Add remaining ingredients except frozen peas and/or beans, bring soup to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for at least an hour to allow the barley to expand and become soft.

6. Add the frozen peas and/or beans about 10 minutes before serving. Waiting until then end stops them from getting mushy.

Notes

As long as you keep the barley, and have some sort of legume like the peas or green beans, you will have a complete protein. Adding other vegetables will enhance the flavor as well as the nutritional value. One of my favorite vegetables to add is sliced or shredded cabbage. The contrast between the crispy cabbage and the chewy barley is really nice.One of the great things about soups like this is that they can be made in large batches and frozen for later use. This is really useful for when you just don’t have time to make a full meal.

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