With the recent spate of cold wet weather we’ve been having in Brisbane I found myself craving soup. I wanted something healthy (to make up for all the baking I’ve been doing recently) and satisfying and I decided to make a vegetable and barley soup.
Vegetable and barley soup reminds me of a soup my Nan used to make when I was a little girl. When we visited my Nan we’d often find that she’d have a soup bubbling away on the stove. I think this is where my love of soups comes from…..I guess that’s also what happens when you grow up in Tasmania where the winters are bitterly cold.
Barley, if you’re not familiar with it, is a grain derived from grass. It’s health benefits include the fact it is high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, assists in lowering cholesterol and aids in regulating blood sugar. Aside from it’s health benefits, it’s filling, making it a great addition to soups.
Whilst this vegetable and barley soup recipe is vegetarian and vegan but you could also just as easily incorporate your favourite meat stock.
Vegetable and Barley Soup
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 8 mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 12 cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 400g tin of diced tomatoes
- 2 cups of barley
- 2 litres of vegetable stock
1. In a large soup pot, over a medium heat, sautee the onion, shallot, celery and garlic in the olive oil until the onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Add the carrot, parsnip, mushrooms and zucchini and cook until they start to soften.
3. Then add the cherry tomatoes and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes and barley. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the barley is tender.