It has been warm here all week. Like in the 80′s. But I didn’t let that stop me from making a vegetable barley soup with homemade rustic bread! In LA it cools down at night anyway so even people from So. Cal. can snuggle inside…
Here’s what you need:
Btw: you can change out the veggies according to what’s in season near you, what you have in the house, what you like etc.
2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 carrots, shredded
1 zucchini, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can garbanzo beans
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste (or pre-ground!)
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste based on the salt content of your broth & diced tomatoes)
fresh ground pepper to taste
First chop your onion. People, I want to share how I chop onions. I am not a chef or anything so, if you already have a great way, or a way you learned at Le Cordon Bleu etc. just go on by. Otherwise, after years of the most inefficient chopping, I’ve been using this technique.
Here we go:
First, cut off that useless end. By useless, I mean the end that was never connected to anything. AKA the “tunic.” (NOT the roots.)
Now, place that cut side down & cut the onion in half through the root.
You have two halves. Take the skin off both of them. Place one of the halves on its side.
and cut very thin slices. (Unless you need chunky pieces!) I have been conditioned by my family to make onions DISAPPEAR so I cut them pretty thin. Once you’ve made all your slices, rotate the onion (keeping it together) and slice them thinly the other way.
You should have some pretty small pieces.
Prep all the vegetables first. I do it the night before when the kids are asleep… I decided to grate the carrots because they cook a lot faster and are more challenging for the kids to pick out. It’s fun to watch them try!!
Now we can start cooking!
1. Heat a large pot (this makes a lot of soup) using medium heat. Add oil & when it’s heated, add onions, stirring to coat. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Add garlic, stir & cook for another minute. Add celery & stir to coat. Saute another 1 minute.
3. Add zucchini & carrots, stir to coat. Cook another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I threw the bay leaves at this point, then took them back out. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention…
4. Add spices & sugar and stir to combine evenly.
Try to collect your thoughts while this is going on.
I don’t know why everyone is in the kitchen?
Take away breakable dishes from the 1 year old.
5. Add tomatoes & garbanzos.
6. Add barley, broth & bay leaves.
7. Bring to a boil. Then turn down & simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until the chick peas & barley are soft.
Add black pepper to taste & serve with the easiest homemade rustic bread in the world. Or with store bought rustic bread!
The stars must’ve aligned because both my kids liked and ate both the soup & the bread. Amazing!
Adapted from AllRecipes “Beaker’s Vegetable Barley Soup.”
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can garbanzo beans
- 32 oz vegetable broth (start with this amount & then add another 16 oz if desired – it is a thick soup)
- 3 bay leaves
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (or pre-ground!)
- 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste based on the salt content of your broth & diced tomatoes)
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Saute onion in a large sauce/soup pan for 4-5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add garlic, stir & cook for another minute. Add celery & stir to coat. Cook for another minute.
- Add zucchini & carrots, stir and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Add sugar & spice(s) & stir to coat evenly.
- Add tomatoes, garbanzos, barley, 32 oz of the broth (you can add more later if desired as soup will be quite thick) & bay leaves.
- Heat to boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes or until barley & garbanzos are soft.
- Add salt/black pepper and/or additional broth if needed.