Vegetable Barley Soup
As the weather warms up, a nourishing bowl of soup is like a warm hug for your insides. It’s a great way to make eating vegetables really tasty and in winter, soups help with hydration.
This Vegetable Barley Soup is nutrient dense, dairy free and suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets. If you need a gluten free soup, you could substitute the barley for quinoa. It does have a shorter cooking time, so adjust to suit.
The addition of barley makes the soup more substantial and is a particularly rich source of fibre, molybdenum, manganese and selenium. It also has good amounts of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin.
Barley also contains lignans, a group of antioxidants linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease.
This soup serves 6 and will take you about an hour to make. Feel free to adjust the vegetables and seasonings to suit your taste. You could also use chicken bone broth instead of vegetable broth.
Make a big batch on the weekend for easy lunches for the week. Serve with a good quality organic sourdough.
Vegetable Barley Soup
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion (chopped)
1 Carrot (peeled, chopped)
1 stalk Celery (chopped)
350g Butternut Pumpkin (peeled, chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Zucchini (chopped)
100g Pearl Barley
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
6 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
Handful (60g) Baby Spinach
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
Add the carrot, celery, pumpkin and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.Add the zucchini, barley, salt and thyme.
Stir to combine then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Let the soup simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the barley is tender.
Stir in the baby spinach and season with additional salt if needed. Divide between bowls and enjoy!
Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze for up to two months.
One serving is approximately 1 1/2 cups.
Top with chopped parsley, sliced green onion or red pepper flakes.
You might like to try some of my other recipes.