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Barley Soup

1 tb Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
3 c Mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c Pearl barley
6 c Stock - veg or chicken
2 Bay leaves
1/4 ts Pepper
3 c Potatoes, diced
1 1/2 c Carrots, diced
1/2 c Parmesan, freshly grated, or cheddar, shredded
1/4 c Fresh parsley, chopped

In large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add barley; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock, 2 cups of water, bay leaves and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Add potatoes, carrots and salt to saucepan; return to boil. simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaves.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.

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