What’s Cooking: homemade barley and vegetable soup

Homemade soups, to me, always taste better when cooked for hours in a slow-cooker. Plus, it fills my condo with such an amazing blend of aromas. My mouth is watering as I’m typing out the ingredients for this recipe.

The hardest part for me when it comes to making soup, is the base of the soup – making a good stock. Making a good stock for your soup, will totally depend on what kind of soup you’re making.

If you’re making a creamy soup – then you’ll need to invest in some corn starch and flour. For chicken soups, you might want to make your own stock with left overs from the chicken. I think I might actually do this tonight.

For this barley soup, I used an easy homemade stock using a bouillon cube. There are so many ways you can create a nice stock base for your soup. Here’s Gordon Ramsey’s enthusiastic tutorial.


Ingredients

  • 1.0 cup of pot barley (soak or rinse in water first)
  • 1.5 cups of sliced carrots
  • 1.5 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups of sliced celery
  • 1 medium onion (yellow or red)
  • 1 cup of corn (kernel or baby-corn)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Seasoning: black pepper, garlic cloves or powder mix, salt – to taste

Preparation

  • Pre-soak the pot barley in a bowl with one cup of cold water for about an hour. Don’t discard the water – you can use this in your soup.
  • If using fresh vegetables, wash and dry the vegetables and cut into small pieces or cubes.
  • Turn your slow-cooker on low and add in three cups of water.
  • Using a whisk, add the bouillon cube and whisk until the cube has dissolved.
  • Add the pot barley (and the water it’s soaking in) into the pot and stir.
  • Add in the vegetables.
  • Add in salt, pepper, garlic and stir well.
  • Top it off with a dried bay leaf or a bit of parsley for added flavour.
  • Cover the slow-cooker with the lid. See below for recommended cooking times.

COOKING TIME: cooking times will vary depending on your slow-cooker temperatures. If cooking on low heat, soup usually can take about 4 hours. If cooking on medium heat, cooking time will be less. Do check your soup often. I check the carrots first to see if they’re fully cooked.


PRO TIP: if you make enough for left overs, store the soup in sealed container overnight night in the fridge. Reheat using the stove-top the next day. Letting the soup sit overnight in its juices brings out the flavours tremendously.

This soup is easy to make, and is very healthy. There are tons of health benefits when it comes to pot barley. It’s definitely something that I need to work with more.



Did you try this recipe? If so, how did it taste? Feel free to add in more vegetables of your liking.


Make sure to check out more healthy and low-fuss recipes on my What’s Cooking page. I’ll be adding more in the next few weeks as I go through my older collection of pictures!


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