Here's a hearty, full-flavored tomato-barley soup featuring vegetables readily available in the winter. A one-dish meal, serve this with a simple salad. Try one with mixed greens, apples or oranges, and toasted walnuts. For added protein, serve with hummus and fresh whole-grain bread or pita. Photos by Evan Atlas.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 large or 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed well or peeled and diced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 15- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (try Italian-style or fire-roasted)
- 1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
- 2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika, or half of each
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for finishing
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until golden.
Add the barley, garlic, carrots, potatoes, celery, diced tomatoes, crushed and diced tomatoes, seasoning blend, paprika, and 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 1 ¼ hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. The barley and vegetables should be done, or nearly so.
At any point, if the soup gets too thick, stir in an additional cup of water.
Add the parsley and 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. If time allows, let the soup stand for an hour or more before serving.The soup will thicken as it stands. Adjust the liquid and seasonings as needed, but let the soup stay nice and thick.
- Here are more Warming Winter Soups.