Tomato-Barley Soup

Here’s a hearty, full-flavored tomato-barley soup whose ingredients are readily available in the winter. A one-dish meal, serve this with a salad of mixed greens with apples or oranges and toasted walnuts, and a good bread or fresh pita. For added protein, serve with hummus.

Serves: 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium turnips or 1 medium-large potato,
    peeled and diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
    (try Italian-style or fire-roasted), with liquid
  • 15- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over low heat until golden.

Add the barley, garlic, carrots, turnips or potatoes, celery, tomatoes and their liquid, tomato sauce, bay leaves, and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. The barley and vegetables should be done, or nearly so.

Add the dill, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes longer, or until the barley is puffy and the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Adjust the consistency with more water if necessary. The soup will thicken as it stands. Adjust the liquid and seasonings as needed, but let the soup stay nice and thick.

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