This is the season for soups, right? I am not a fan of cold weather, so I will go anything to get my body warmed up, soup being one of the favorites. I love to do veggie soups, but I have to add grains to make them more substantial. This vegetable barley soup is a good example of a hearty soup we love.
Of you course you can sub in any other grain you like. It is great with farro, buckwheat, quinoa,etc. I also love this soup as it is a clean-out-your-fridge kind out soup. The recipe always varies, depending on what is in the fridge and what need to be used up. I just love barley in soups though, so I use it frequently.
The trifecta I always use for a base for almost all my soups is onions, celery and carrots. As long as I have these, well and garlic, I don’t feel like I need to add in vegetable stock. I can just use the flavoring from them. I gave the onions a fairly small dice.
A little bigger for the celery as I like to hold itself together a little better.
Start by sauteing them for several minutes in olive oil.
Add minced garlic towards the end. It burns easily and only needs a few minutes to cook.
I had a few tomatoes needing attention, so they went in.
Squash?? Why not. They get added towards the very end though, they take hardly anytime to cook.
Adding the water, not veggie stock for this recipe.
I love to throw in beans too.
Maybe it is just me, but I love the way whole grains look. It makes me feel so connected to the Earth.
Make sure and let your soup reduce. This is where the flavor compacts and intensifies.
I didn’t have a chance to make bread, so we served the soup with crackers. We are really into carbs here. There is hardly a meal goes by without some type of carbs.
This is a loaded soup. It is a soup for variables. Use what you have available, especially veggies that are on the verge of going bad. They are perfect for soup.
Here’s to cold winter evenings and warm soup. I guess that is one good thing about this time of year. When you are tucked in at home with a good bowl of soup, it just feel cozy!