Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup

This is a hearty vegetable soup/stew which takes just a few minutes to put in a slow cooker in the morning. It can be served over rice or pasta or with biscuits.  Ingredients can be changed according to the vegetables you have on hand.

3 onions finely diced 
1 cup sliced celery
1 diced green pepper
1 diced red or yellow pepper

Saute the first 4 ingredients in a frying pan in a little oil or broth until softened.
Put in slow cooker and add:

1 large carrot sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cups kidney beans, rinsed and drained (other beans can be used)
1 28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup pot barley (not quick-cooking)
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning or a mixture of oregano, basil, thyme, hot pepper flakes to taste
1 carton vegetable broth (4 cups)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. One half hour before serving add:

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced 
4 cups or more of chopped fresh spinach or kale
salt to taste

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