Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vegetable Barley Soup

Lila and I made a big pot of soup yesterday. It was a rainy, cool evening and this soup really hit the spot. Both Lila and Deacon ate it, so I consider this recipe a success!

Lila just discovered barley this winter and loves it! Barley is a high-fiber whole grain, with many of the same health benefits as oatmeal.

Vegetable Barley Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in sauce
8 cups of broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
¾ cup barley
1 cup green beans, cut small
1 ½ cup beans (either soaked if dried or drained and rinsed if canned)
1 cup frozen peas

1.Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots and cook for about 10 min until tender
2.Add tomatoes, broth, thyme, bay leaf, and salt/pepper to taste. Bring to simmer.
3.Add barley, green beans, and beans and simmer for about 30 min until barley has swelled and is softened.
4.Add peas and let heat for 5 minutes. Check to see if it needs more salt and pepper, remove bay leaf, and you're ready to serve!

Notes: You can adapt this recipe to your family's preferences. My version is a little heavy on the carrots (Deacon's favorite) and has plenty of barley and beans (Lila's favorites). Add whatever veggies you like. If your family likes spice add a little crushed red pepper flakes when sweating the onions/celery/carrots. I used low-sodium chicken broth since that's what I had – vegetable broth would make this completely vegetarian.

Today's tip: Try barley in this soup or one of the recipes listed on the whole grain council's website.

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