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Broccoli and Cheese Barley Soup

4 c Water
14 1/2 oz Reduced sodium chicken broth (canned) about 1-3/4 cups
1/2 c Chopped onion
1/2 c Medium barley
2 Garlic cloves; minced
1/2 ts Salt (optional)
1/8 ts Black pepper
2 c Chopped broccoli; OR 9 oz frozen broccoli
1 1/2 c Skim or low-fat milk
1/4 c All-purpose flour
4 oz Reduced fat cheddar cheese shredded

In 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, combine water, broth, onion, barley, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli; continue simmering 15 to 20 minutes or until barley and broccoli are tender.

Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour, mixing until well blended. Gradually stir into soup with remaining milk and cheese. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add additional water or chicken broth if soup becomes too thick upon standing.

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