Recipe video above. This is a recipe for a Pearl Barley Soup filled with lots of vegetables that's clean, nutritious and (yet!) oh-so-tasty. The chewy, nutty barley makes it so much more interesting than using just pasta or rice. A great soup recipe to make your own - follow my cook method and broth flavourings. Then mix and match the vegetables to suit your cravings - or fridge contents!
Keyword: Barley soup, How to cook barley, pearl barley soup
Servings: 4- 5 people
2tbspextra virgin olive oil
1onion, finely diced
2 small or 1 largecarrot(~200g/7oz), peeled, chopped into 1cm / 0.4" cubes
2celery stems, chopped into 1cm / 0.4" cubes
2 small or 1 mediumswede (US: rutabaga), peeled, chopped into 1cm / 0.4" cubes (~200g, Note 1)
150g / 5 ozwhite mushrooms, cut in 4 (larger ones cut into 6 or 8)
2garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2tspfresh thyme, chopped (or 1/4 tsp dried)
2fresh bay leaves(or 1 dried)
1 3/4tspcooking/kosher salt
1cuppearl barley, NOT hulled barley (Note 2)
1.75litres / quartsvegetable stock, preferably homemade (it's so easy!) else low sodium store bought
Rinse barley in a colander with cold tap water. Leave to drain for several minutes.
Sauté veg 5 minutes: Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, swede, mushrooms and garlic (yes, all at once!). Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Sauté herbs/spices: Add thyme, coriander, fennel, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
Simmer 35 minutes: Add pearl barley and vegetable stock. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes until barley is cooked. It will have a nice chew to it but should not have a hard centre like uncooked rice.
Stir in parsley: Stir in parsley leaves. Ladle into bowls and serve!
Strain soup (or use slotted spoon), store vegetables/barley separate from soup broth. Otherwise the barley will soak up all the liquid!
1. Swedes - Called rutabaga in the US, they are a vegetable that is kind of like a turnip but are softer, sweeter, and have a more earthy flavour. Peels easily like a carrot using a standard peeler, and has a texture like potato when raw. Substitute with turnip, parsnip, celeriac or potato.2. Pearl barley – A tasty whole grain with a nutty flavour and chewy texture, it makes the soup so much more interesting than just making it with rice or pasta. Find it in the soup aisle at the grocery store, alongside dried beans usually.Not to be confused with HULLED barley which is browner. Hulled barley has just the hull removed. Pearly barley also has some or all of the bran removed. It's whiter, cooks faster, and is less chewy. Pearl barley is what we are using today.3. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.