Delicious and Healthy Homemade Vegetable Barley Soup

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How to make a healthy and delicious homemade soup with barley and vegetables

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With the cooler weather coming quicker than expected it is the perfect time to brush up on my homemade soup recipes and healthy soup skills. I love making big pots of soup in the fall and winter time to swap for meals. Soup, when made with lots of good, hearty ingredients, can fill you up and really satisfy. It is also great to keep you feeling warm curled up on the couch with a piping hot bowl of goodness! I prefer broth soups so for this recipe I made sure it was loaded with lots of vegetables and some barley as well. Soup is great because once you have everything all set in the pot you can turn the burner on low and just let it simmer for an hour.

_MG_8511 For today’s soup I used lots of chopped veggies which I was able to get already cut up at Shop Rite; this saved on some time which was a nice bonus. I got some white chopped onion, diced carrots and celery. This is usually the vegetable I use most often as a based in my soups for flavor. Don’t put too many onions though, it can very easily over power your soup flavor.

_MG_8518 As a base broth I usually go with a chicken broth and always go with the fat free and lower sodium one. I usually get broth enough to fill up half of the pot. Once you start to add all of your ingredients the broth level will rise so you don’t want to put too much broth in the pot.

_MG_8514 The next thing I add is some fresh spinach leaves. These will take a while to cook and get soft but spinach is a great addition to your soup. I usually just buy a bag of the organic spinach that can also be used for salad. I threw in about 3 large handfuls into the pot. I then also added some diced organic tomato to make the broth a bit thicker and also some peas and diced white potatoes. The last thing I add is barley; this is helps to add some protein and more fiber to the soup. It helps to make you feel a bit fuller when having just soup as a lunch or meal. Barley takes a while to cook so this is why I leave my pot to simmer for about an hour so they barley can get cooked all the way through. I love the Red Mill lentils the best, usually you can find them in the rice and beans section of your grocery store or near the baking section since they sell lots of flour and powder ingredients too.

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As for seasonings, I use a little bit of sea salt and black pepper – that’s all you really need to add some more flavor to the soup. This is a pretty easy and fool proof recipe especially if you are looking for some clean eating soup ideas and for meal prepping as well. It made the kitchen smell delicious and was nice to enjoy on a cold night.

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