The weather in New York is being a bit cranky. A couple of weeks ago we had early summer weather, but this past week was more like mid-spring. Today it’s warm again, and only time will tell if it stays. Since we’re in this in-between stage, it only seems appropriate to have a few last bowls of soup to warm ourselves up.
It has been a while since I have made barley soup, and after realizing I had the makings of it in my cupboards I decided that would be today’s project. The nice thing about this soup is that it is so easy to make that it takes hardly any effort. Chop up a few vegetables, toss in some barley, water and spices and you’re pretty much done. The result is a filling, yet mild soup.
- 1 8-oz pkg. button or white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Chicken-style seasoning or vegetable-based seasoning (to make the water more broth-like)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry barley
Chop up all of your vegetables. I like to chop my mushrooms into quarters if they are small enough. This makes them a little more meaty, but you can slice your mushrooms however you like.
Heat up your oil in a large pot and throw all of your vegetables in with your spices. Sauté for a few minutes (about 7-10 minutes).
Add the water and barley, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it is at the boiling point lower the heat and let it simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Stir the soup occasionally. Taste test the soup once you are close to the end to make sure the barley is as tender as you like. It all depends on how chewy you like it. Serve.
I like this soup because it is really so simple – mainly because it does not have too many spices or vegetables. I like it as well because the barley lends a little bit of creaminess to the soup. For a vegan it’s nice to have a bit of creamy every now and then without the guilt of extra calories that soy milk (or almond or hazelnut or…or…or) brings.
Perhaps next week I’ll be begging the weather for mercy and wishing for cold weather. Until then, though, I’ll be cozying up to my barley soup.