Barley minestrone Winter soup

Watching Wanda Sykes on HBO, talking about the White House correspondence dinner, and laughing while writing this post.  Truthfully some good, honest and funny new material she got, even if the language offensive to some. Might be a short post. While sitting down for dinner tonight we were discussing the why(s) of Vegetarian Monday. I said....and that is one of the many language transggressions I committed over the years, and not the most offensive one of them. I said, carbon copy, Jonathan just looked at me, I could recognize by the look, that I messed up some, and we all bursted out laughing. Obviously, I meant carbon footprint.  I think kids today know what a carbon footprint is, not so sure about carbon copy.  This soup we had tonight was a wholesome vegetarian soup with some cheese on sliced fresh baguette on the side. You can make soups million ways, can use any vegetable you have in the fridge or beans in your pantry but still comes out fantastic every single time. I incorporated some potato to this sort of minestrone to give creaminess to it.  The potato is used as a thickener and flavor. Instead of cannelleni beans I used pink beans....and then somewhere along the way, I could not resist but adding barley instead of pasta. There is nothing that says Winter soup better than barley.  Barley brings back memories of my Israeli army days when I was only eighteen. I was yearning now for barley soup for awhile, wonder now if it were yearnings of some of other sorts?!

Barley Minestrone (kid friendly too, mine liked it)
2 ribs of celery plus celery leaves, diced and chopped
2 large garlic cloves
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-4 tablespoons canola oil
2-4 springs of thyme
2 large potatoes, diced
2 cans of 15.5oz pink beans (or cannelleni), rinsed and drained, see tip on beans at bottom
4 grated tomatoes
1/3 bunch parsley, chopped
1 vegetarian bullion (optional)
1/2 cup plus barley
Black pepper
6-8 cups of water

Sautee onions, celery, garlic and carrots in canola oil until soft. Add tomatoes, potatoes and the rest of the ingredients and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low medium for about an hour.  Mix occasionally and adjust for salt and pepper. Serve with cheese on a fresh baguette, or just a fresh baguette.

Tip on beans:
If you do not wish to use canned beans, buy any kind of dry bean you wish to use in this soup. Cover in cold water in a bowl overnight.  Next morning, drain and rinse and put in a pot covered with fresh water.  Boil until soft.  Drain, rinse and add to soup.  The more traditional way is to bring to a boil once, cook for 10-20 minutes, drain and rinse and repeat process 3-4 times. I don't know if that is a old wives tale, but supposedly the process eliminates gastrointestinal issues related to beans by following this process:).

Pics will be coming out when I make the next batch. I was not happy with first round of photographs.  Turns out although very delicious the soup was not too photogenic, or might be just me?! By the time I got around to shooting more pics, the soup was gone!


  1. I make soup with barley all the time. I use mushrooms and sometimes short ribs. Going to try your recipe. Sounds wonderful.

  2. Hi Diane, Mushrooms and barley sounds like the perfect combination. I hope you enjoy this version. Barley is comfort, isn't it? Shulie