Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn Vegetable/Barley Soup

Cool, crisp days and I think of soup!  To me it's the ultimate comfort food and I loved when I came home from school and my mother would have a pot of soup on the stove.  Vegetable and Bean soups were the two she made the most and the ones I loved, but in the summer, she'd also do a "She-Crab Bisque" that my father loved--me, not so much since even back then, I was somewhat of a vegetarian.

The idea behind the soup I made today was inspired by a recipe in the October 2011, Clean Eating magazine--Kale Barley Soup, but I made a few changes.  It's been a hectic Monday and I've got lots of projects going in addition to a friend is returning home tomorrow after being away a month in Guam with family. She's "nursing" a cold she caught in the last week and bringing some soup to her house is a gift I know she'll like.   I also KNOW from past experiences--jet-lag will set in with the time change and she really won't feel like making meals: )

Simple ingredients, full of flavor and low in calories and fat is what this recipe has to offer.  The addition of barley, which is part of the grass-family and used as a base malt for beer, is a great addition in soups and stews and in many cultures, breads.  Barley does contain gluten, so if you need this to be gluten-free, you should try another grain, (i.e. Quinoa).

Autumn Vegetable Soup
3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 leeks, cut just above the white, slice in half and clean well
4 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, vein removed and chopped (about 6 cups)

1 can (28oz) Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked barley
6 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. seasalt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium.  Add the onion, leeks, carrots, and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.  Lower heat to med/low and cover pot.  Heat about 3 minutes more.  Add the can of tomatoes, vegetable stock and seasonings.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add kale, cover and cook until kale turns bright green, about 5 minutes.
  Add the cooked barley and stir to combine.

 Heat through, about 5-10 minutes more.  I serve the soup with homemade rolls and a new jam combination I made from bosc pears and raspberries I got at the farmer's market on Saturday.
Your palette will enjoy the combination of these veggies and I bet, like me, memories of Mom's kitchen filled the air with comfort. Enjoy!


  1. Soup is definitely my favorite comfort food! Yesterday was a gray, drizzley,cool day and the pot of Senate Bean Soup and cornbread was just what I needed. Mom's soup was the best and I'll include her Chicken soup to your list I will add the Autumn vegetable/barley soup to my collection---it looks delicious and very comforting!!! Hugs, Barb

  2. Oh yeah...I forgot about her Chicken soup. I guess I blocked out everything with "a face" that she made into soup. LOL!!

  3. This look fabulous! I love barley in soups. Have been struggling with a bad cold for over 2 weeks myself, and finally went to the doctor. I think I need a good pot of soup!

  4. OK, so we get some vegetables with our sugar....YUMMM YUMMMM>>>>>