Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vegetable Barley Soup

I am feeling a bit under the weather.  The whole house (family and day care kids) has the runny/stuffy noses and a good cough.  What's better for a cold than a good soup?  I pretty much made this up just from what I have around the house.  All the kids ate it up (even the picky one). 

A quick note about turnips.  They are good (really!) and if you haven't tried them, you should.  Just peel and chop--think of them like a potato.  Baby turnips have a sweet and delicate taste and are the size of large radishes. The larger, winter turnips are more flavorful and have a peppery kind of taste.  (The leaves/greens are also edible and yummy.)  Try them as turnip french fries (baked or fried). Or chop turnips and carrots to about the same size then cook and serve them as a mixed veggie side dish.  Just do whatever you normally do to carrots.  Boiled turnips can be mashed like potatoes.  I like to substitute turnips for potatoes in soups and stews.  Good stuff!

The lunch menu today was Vegetable Barley Soup with Pita Chips or Bagels (kids had Asiago Cheese bagels) and Apple Slices. This was quick and easy and warm and comforting.  I'm glad I made enough for supper, too! 

2 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely diced or grated
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 turnip, peeled and diced small
1 can diced tomatoes (or stewed), with liquid
1 can white beans (cannellini or navy), with liquid
3 c. veggie broth (Better than Bouillon vegetable base is my fav)
1-2 t. dried basil
1 bay leaf
3/4 c. quick-cooking barley

Heat oil in pot, saute garlic until soft but not brown.  Add all ingredients except barley.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until veggies are crisp tender.  Add barley, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

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