Let the homey flavors speak for themselves with this hearty and simply delicious barley soup. It's easy to make, cheap, packed with vegetables, filling, and you can't stop eating it!Note: the post has been updated with new pictures and the recipe has been slightly tweaked.
Cuisine: Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: Barley Soup
3/4 cup(130 grams)pearled barley, rinsed and drained
1 cup(130 grams)frozen peas (or other beans)
4 ½ cupswater or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1Tbsptomato paste, or 1 diced tomato
1Tbspolive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1garlic clove, minced
1medium-sized onion, diced
1large celery rib, sliced
2large carrots, diced
1medium-sized potato, cut into cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onion, carrot, celery. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 7 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and stir for about 1 minute.
Add the barley, cubed potatoes, tomato paste, and give a good stir.
Then add the vegetable broth, a good pinch of salt and pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat and cook gently for 25-30 minutes or until the barley is tender. If you need more liquid or if you prefer a thinner soup, add an extra cup of water or broth now.
When the barley is cooked, add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, then remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper*. (I usually add a pinch of salt at the beginning + 1/2 tsp later. You might need more salt, depending on your vegetable broth and on your personal preferences.)*
Divide into bowls, drizzle with olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, and more freshly ground black pepper if you like. If you don't keep it vegan, serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Enjoy!
NOTE: The nutrition data provided are estimates only.
Seasoning: If you use a broth that tastes quite salty on its own, it's important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is. I would start only with a good pinch of salt, no more than that.
Leftover: it keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. t’s also freezable: divide among airtight containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to 1 month.
Broth: both vegetable or chicken broths are fine. I usually make my own vegetable broth cooking vegetable scraps and herbs for 10 minutes. But when I'm short on time I go for hot water and vegan low salt vegetable broth cubes.
NOTE:Nutritional values are estimates only.