Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegetable Barley Soup

I know it's still a little hot outside for soup recipes, but this was too good to pass up.  I'm one of those irrational people that can have soup any time of year - especially when it's chock full of vegetables like this!

The flavor is definitely different, with all of the different herbs involved - but it's definitely a "good" kind of different!

Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe

4 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped 
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups kale, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel fronds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
juice from 1 lemon
feta cheese crumbles, optional

Bring 4 cups water, 2 cups vegetable broth, barley, and 1 teaspoon sea salt to boil in large pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, chopped carrot, and mushrooms to pan.  Sprinkle with sea salt, and saut√© until golden brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add onion mixture and remaining 2 cups chicken stock to pot with barley.

Add kale to soup. Simmer until greens are tender, about 15 minutes. Add dill, fennel fronds, and mint; simmer 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. Season soup with sea salt, pepper, thinning with more broth, if desired. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle feta cheese over, drizzle with oil, and serve.

I even ate this cold for lunch today - and I NEVER eat soup cold.  Now you know it's gotta be good!

Do you guys eat soup in the summer time?  Or am I just a weirdo?


  1. Very nice. I am a huge soup lover and I eat it all year round, I basically have it twice a week if not more. I consider myself a soup fiend, all the wonderful flavors mixed together can play wonders with your palate. Great recipe.

  2. I love soup no matter what the temperature and yours sounds wonderful. So hearty but yet still light, can't wait to try it!

  3. I'm with you - soup any time the craving hits! It's always delicious! My hubby isn't a mushroom fan - I can leave them out. But he's a HUGE barley fan! Fantastic!

  4. I'm sooo with you - I can eat soup anytime of year; even in 90 degree weather! This soup looks delicious - A must try!

  5. Healthy filling and delicious soup..

  6. I'm a soup lover too regardless of weather. Your looks good slurp......

  7. This does look too good to pass up! It has an amazing complexity of flavors.

  8. Very creative of adding barley into soup as over here its only made into a cold drink. The soup looks so thick and will be awesome with bread dipped inside.

  9. Healthy and perfect soup for a rainy day..

  10. I'm a sucker for a really good barley soup...but I don't think I could make this until our weather cools down!

  11. OK, you've inspired me...I got this amaaazing soup recipe from a family friend, and I've felt kind of weird about trying it in summer. This barley soup looks so good, though, I think I might go for it. Love the feta crumbles in there!

  12. Love barley soup; what a great idea to add goat cheese.

  13. You're not alone. I'm part of the soup year round camp as well. When a soup has that much going on for it, why should we have to wait until colder months to enjoy? It just isn't fair :)

  14. It is never the wrong time of year for barley stew, as far as I'm concerned. I just add lots of lemon to mine if I make it in hot weather, because lemon=hot weather food?

  15. delicious looking barley soup looks wonderful

  16. I can eat soup any time of year. I actually tend to eat more soup in the summer than in the winter. I am so backwards. Then again I also grow my hair out in the summer and chop it off in the winter. Backwards. This soup looks too good to pass up. Yummy!

  17. I eat soup all year long, too. I'm looking forward to giving this recipe a try - barley and kale are my 2 favorite things to put in soup!

  18. What a delicious soup! Can I have a some please?

  19. Such a delicious and healthy soup! I love addition of a light cheese like feta on top too!

  20. I've heard about this book for a while and was wondering I should buy this book. Now seeing your barley soup...I'm pretty sure of buying this book.

  21. It's not too hot for soup if you sit in an air conditioned room and eat it! :D

  22. I love barley and I often use it in stews and soups. It's also blissfully good in a tomato-based soup and it goes well with red lentils. Also you can use it for orsotto - using barley instead of risotto rice. There is a chef here who invented it, he makes it with soft goat's cheese and pumpkin flesh.
    Oh and your new header pics are beautiful.

  23. You did it! You went there! I'm fighting off every urge, every image of fall and every glance at a recipe that makes me think of sweaters and soup and you went there!!! Nooooo.

    (lol, please laugh at my melodrama).

    I can see why you couldn't wait though! This soup looks awesome... Now to pout for like another month or two...

  24. This recipe sounds great! I can't wait for fall weather so that I can start making stuff like this!

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