Barley, kale & carrot soup

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With the fire lit and the curtains drawn, I’m ready for a bowl of hot soup and some oily sourdough toast. It’s that time of year. Warming soup are so satisfying and fulfilling and very nutritious.

Check out this barley soup, it’s so cleansing & nourishing. Barley just feels great on your body. If it’s not something you tend to cook, I highly recommend giving it a go and experience the heart-i-ness that barley gives.

I discovered barley when I lived in Brighton, England about 16 years ago. I lived on soups over there, warm, hearty soups. We had a soup on the menu every day
at Food for friends, a restaurant I cooked at in the late 90’s. The Brits love barley and I can see why. There’s something so comforting about the chewy texture of barley and it’s so versatile. I found you can add it to almost any soup (maybe not Asian flavoured soups?) and it adds body and substance.

Barley is a good source of manganese, dietary fiber, selenium and a good source of copper. It’s also high in vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin. It’s excellent for a healthy colon and digestive system, helps to lower cholesterol and is good for your heart!

I’m pulling out all my old soup recipes and playing around with some new ones. I forget how much I love soups but this winter it’s sure to be a staple in my house. Cheap and cheerful comes to mind…

Makes 4 bowls
½ cup barley, soaked overnight
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 long stick celery (with a few leaves), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tb dried Italian herbs
¼ ts cracked pepper
1 ½ tb good salt
1/8 cup olive oil
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup kale, roughly chopped
1¼ lt filtered water
2 medium potatoes, diced

Cook barley in half litre of filtered water for 30-40 minutes or until it becomes soft and ’swollen’. Place aside.

Put the potato, dried herbs, onion, garlic & pepper in a saucepan with 1¼ litres of filtered water. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Add carrots, barley, and half the parsley, and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add kale, rest of the parsley, salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the olive oil and stir.

Serve with warm sourdough toast or crusty fresh bread.

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