Vegetable Barley Soup

IMG_2043We got our first snow last night, a winter storm that carried 10.5 inches. I went out for a run this morning, and will presently go run a few errands before night falls, but other than that, I haven’t braved the outdoors. I’ve stayed inside: knitting, chatting with friends, and (a favourite wintertime activity!) making soup.

One of the things I love about soup is that no recipe is required. I simply grab whatever vegetables I have on hand, throw them in a pot, and have something delicious.

(To be fair, in the past a few soups have turned out . . . not so good. But throwing soup away because it tastes weird is very rare indeed.)

Today, with the Thanksgiving holidays upon me, I was trying to use up random vegetables in my refrigerator: carrots and red onion.

Because I hate throwing spoiled food away, and because carrots and red onion make a poor salad, I pulled a soup together. Here’s what I used:

  • Half a red onion, diced.
  • A teaspoon(ish) chopped garlic
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Five small carrots, chopped
  • Three tiny sweet potatoes, chopped (about a cup’s worth, or a little more)
  • 2 cups of frozen chopped tomatoes
  • A cup and a half of barley, which has been sitting in my pantry since last November

I fried up two slices of bacon, then removed them from the pan. Then in their greases, plus some olive oil, I sauteed the onion and garlic. Then I added four or so cups of vegetable broth, the rest of the veggies, and the bacon. I brought it to a boil, let it simmer for a little while, then added the barley. About ten minutes from when the soup was finished, I added a can of chickpeas for fiber.

I probably added too much barley. When I first added it, I thought I had too little; a few random barley flecks floated about in the soup, and that was it. So I dumped in an entire cup and a half or so of barley. But by the time the soup was ready, the barley had soaked up much of the liquid.

Still, after about half an hour the barley had cooked, the veggies were soft, and I sat down to eat. I put green onions and cheese on top.



Ready for the freezer!


Best of all, I have seven freezer bags full of soup, so I’ll be reheating and enjoying this for some time to come.


Just waiting to cool off.



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