Monday, June 25, 2012

Hearty vegetable soup with barley

I don't think the internet needs another vegetable soup recipe. There are many, many versions out there. The thing is, though, sometimes I blog recipes for entirely selfish reasons.

Of course, I tell myself that others might be interested in the fact that I (i) made soup (something I do relatively infrequently, given how much I like homemade soup) and (ii) made it in this particular way.

In this case, though, it is difficult to really believe that. I am sure you've all made vegetable soup. You probably make it more often (and better!) than I do. But, selfishly, I want to record this recipe for my own reference, and the easiest way to do that is by blogging it.


Sorry.

To even things out, I thought I'd tell you about my weekend too. The only problem there is that it wasn't that interesting, even though it was enjoyable to me.

Friday night was The Big 21st Party, which will be discussed in its own post before too long.

Saturday was running, cleaning-washing-shopping and an afternoon at a football game (the Western Australia Football League, which I have attended less this year).

Sunday was washing-ironing-shopping, various To Do tasks on the computer, soup making, banana bread making (more on that sometime too), and basketball playing with Mr Bite (I'm still bad at it).
There was also gorgeous, perfect winter weather, with crisp evenings and mornings, maximum temperatures in the high teens, and dazzling sunshine.

All highly enjoyable, but probably not very exciting for you.

I can say, if nothing else, that this soup was everything I wanted it to be: jam-packed full of vegetables, dense enough to be eaten at dinner but light enough to be eaten for work lunches this week, flavoursome, nutritious, and with protein from the butter beans and barley.

You might have your own recipe, but I hope you enjoy this one too.


Heart vegetable soup with barley
Serves 4 - 6

Print recipe

Ingredients
2 cups water
3 cups vegetable stock (see note)
1 leek (white part only), roughly diced
2 carrots, roughly diced
2 stalks celery, roughly diced
~1 cup green beans, sliced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
2/3 cup barley, rinsed
1 tin butter beans (or canneloni beans)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
Pepper, to taste


Method
In a large saucepan, saute the leek in 1/2 cup of the water until soft. Add the 3 cups of vegetable stock with the carrots, celery and green beans, and stir over medium heat until simmering.

Add the parsnip and reduce to low - medium heat. Stir regularly for ~5 minutes. Then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, barley and herbs and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for ~30 minutes.

Add the butter beans and simmer, covered, for a further 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for at least 20 minutes or up to several hours, before reheating to serve.

Note. I like to buy prepared stock for soups as I don't trust my ability to flavour things sufficiently otherwise. You may be skilled enough to do things from scratch, or be happy to make stock up from a stock cube.


This could easily have been thinned out with an additional cup of water or stock, and if you have a sufficiently large pan you may wish to do that.

As it was, I filled my largest saucepan to the brim and couldn't have added anything extra. I also quite liked the density of this, and of course it is easy enough to thin soup out later by adding water to an individual serve if desired.


The only downside of this soup is that you really do need to like barley to enjoy it. Regrettably for Mr Bite, I only discovered on serving it that he does not. At all. I probably could have predicted this (and on reflection, when I made this barly risotto, I didn't serve it to him), so I can only apologise again for his impromptu scrambled egg sandwich dinner!

Do you have a favourite soup recipe? And what did you get up to this weekend?

26 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It is indeed - I'm sure I'm a good few degrees warmer after eating it!

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  2. great for you but a shame for mr b - my mother also is not keen on barley. I love how it thickens a soup. I have a soup I make occasionally with barley that has swede (or turnip in scotland where this sort of soup hails from) and I love how the potato and turnip change in the stew. I also sometimes don't even add any stock to such a soup but just use salt because the vegetables in the soup can give the same flavours that you find in a stock.

    And I don't think you need to be apologetic for the soup. I never put beans in my soup but I think now I need to make a barley soup with beans in it. Thanks for some inspiration :-)

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    1. You are very kind Johanna, and make me feel much better :-) It's interesting to hear your success without stock, too, which does make sense. Perhaps I need to try again.

      Mr B and your mother are the first people I've heard of to dislike barley, and I will confess to not understanding at all. I love it, but I appreciate we can't all love the same things!

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  3. Who doesn't need a new veggie soup recipe! I'm always on the lookout for more and this looks fabulous!

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  4. yea..this soup is right up my alley =). I really need to cook with barley more. I would make this kind of soup anyday, except the hubby always needs some sort of meat..ugh. Don't worry! I'm working on this hehe. And I'm with you..I didn't do anything particularly exciting, but it was amazing! I just love being in my pjs all day!

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    1. I'm sure you could add meat to this easily enough if you wanted - easier to add meat than take out the barley! Chicken would probably work well?

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  5. I don't mind seeing another vegetable barley soup recipe. I love vegetable barley soup. This looks so delicious and it's exactly what I need right now with our appalling rain-soaked days and cold temperatures xx

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    1. Thank you Charlie...it is definitely winter food and well suited to rain and cold (although how you can stillhave rain and cold is beyond me!).

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  6. yum! i love hearty veggie soup. unfortunately, mine usually comes from hale & hearty! good for you for making it :)

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    1. Mine is quite often bought too :P And thanks!

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  7. I love a good vegetable soup recipe... especially at this time of year! My weekend was full of food and friends, so it was pretty much perfect!

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    1. That does sound perfect indeed :)

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  8. yummy!! okay, i laugh tho because every time i see the word barley i think of this song they used to sing in pre-school..."oats and beans and barley grow!" that's the only part i remember but it never fails to come to my mind...haha.

    hey, we all should be blogging for ourselves, so bring on the soup recipes and flood that blog world! ;)

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    1. What a sweet song! I don't think I've heard it, but I'm happily making up my own tune to go with the words now ;)

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  9. I SO need this soup right now. It's freezing outside and rainy and disgusting. Soup would help. :)

    this looks really good and I love barley in soup. I will definitely try this recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Maureen - I hope you have something on stand by to warm you up until you get around to the soup! Freezing and rainy definitely requires warm drinks / foods.

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  10. My green pea-split pea potage soup is my favourite, though SERIOUSLY KARI THIS HAS TO STOP I made a soup on the weekend too that I'll blog soon. SERIOUSLY THIS IS FREAKY. Because I also love soup but rarely make it.

    Smoochies!

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    Replies
    1. I love this sort of freaky :) I hope your soup is warming you up as mine is warming me! xx

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  11. I'm afraid I have to agree with Mr Bite! Barley isn't my favourite ingredient so I don't use it very often. I'm not crazy about it's chewy texture in soups although I have enjoyed it in risottos. I do like the sound of everything else in your soup and there can never be enough vegetable soup recipes on the Internet!

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    Replies
    1. I suppose we need variation in tastes so I will forgive you :) I like it in most forms but interestingly in soup more than in risotto - the chewiness is what I like I think, although I will concur it looks a bit odd!

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  12. This soup looks so good! I have never tried barley in soup, but I bet its really good. :)
    My favorite soup to make, and remotely not healthy for you, is White chicken chili. It's a throw together kind of soup and makes a TON. In fact, I would probably just call it a stew! lol! :)
    Can't wait to hear about the party!!

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    1. I think soups that are stews are the best sort actually :) This was getting pretty close to a stew itself!

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  13. I’m heading over now to check this one out – you’re always making me hungry

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    Replies
    1. I'll take that as a good thing :D

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