There are so many delicious grains that are so under appreciated! Barley is one of those! It is so good for you, and has a great texture and flavor! If you can find the sweet pearl barley, even better! It can be hard to find, but a lot of Asian food markets carry it for a great price, and it is even more tender and sweet. If you can't find the pearl barley, regular will do just fine in this soup. This was also very kid friendly! My kids loved it. Serve it with a toasted piece of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain low sodium bread spread with a little Earth Balance vegan butter to complete the meal.
Tomato and Vegetable Soup with Sweet Pearl Barley
What You Need:
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
3 small zucchini, chopped 1/2 inch pieces
8 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
12 ounces thin asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with no added salt
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups of water with 3 vegan vegetable bouillon cubes or 6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup sweet pearl barley
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Fresh basil, or dill for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots and saute until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. In the meantime, puree the can of tomatoes in a blender until smooth and set aside.
Add the zucchini, green beans, asparagus, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute about 2 more minutes.
Add the pureed tomatoes, water with bouillon or vegetable broth, garbanzo beans, barley, dried dill, and 1 tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste soup and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with fresh chopped basil or fresh chopped dill, and serve a crusty piece of Ezekiel low sodium sprouted grain bread on the side.
This makes a lot, so you have have lots of leftovers for easy lunches during the week!