I bought some barley at the grocery this week. I've never cooked with it before, but I've tasted it in soup here and there and never found it objectionable. Combine this with an article I read recently in Hex Magazine about traditional nutrition (see the book Nourishing Traditions for more info...it's now on my short-list of books to buy. 2008 is all about healthier eating in our household) and that started me searching for barley soup recipes and I have found a winner! I pretty much did everything as stated in the recipe. I only had dried rosemary on hand so I just used that and also with my potatoes, I only had small red ones. I think they added a bit of sweetness to the pot. Yummy beyond words! This soup is hearty, warming, and OMG GOOD (Liudwih, it is 5 smacks!!!) with the only fat content coming from 1 TBSP of butter and 1 of olive oil...and not needing any salt in the least.
I now present to you...
Barley & Potato Soup
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I had exactly 6 cups of homemade chicken stock in the freezer!)
1/2 cup medium barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 small celery rib, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (I only had dried but it worked fine)
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, 1/2 inch dice (I used about 7 red potatoes)
grated parmesan cheese
Bring the broth to a boil and add the barley.
Stir, then let simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and the remaining herbs and saute until the vegetables are softened but not browned (about 5-6 minutes.) When the barley has cooked for 30 minutes, add this mixture to it along with the carrots and potatoes.
Cook everything together at a simmer for another 30 minutes.
Serve with a generous sprinkle of parmesan on top.