This delicious and simple veggie-packed soup is hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but is versatile enough that you can tweak it to make it your own by adding beans, meat or more vegetables.
I love fall in North Carolina. Or recipes that make me fondly remember fall and fill my belly with warm goodness.
I also love working out outside in the fall. Isn’t it glorious?
If you are outside, try subbing push-ups for push presses, regular sit ups for the medicine ball variety and a half mile loop for the 400 meter incline run. And whew, those step ups are no joke!
Side note: this water-resistant blanket is great to keep in the car at all times. It comes in so handy!
The only downside to spending as much time outside as possible is that it means less time in the kitchen. That’s one of the many reasons I love making soup: leftovers that are easy to reheat and eat.
There is something so comforting about soup and this homemade vegetable barley is no exception.
The thing I love about soup is that it’s forgiving. Add or subtract almost anything and it will still be delicious. This recipe is my basic go-to, though I often switch it up depending on which vegetables I have at a given time.
- You can omit the barley if you are gluten-free or sub brown rice if you’d rather.
- You can use frozen veggies to virtually eliminate prep time.
- You can add some cayenne to give it a kick.
- You can add chicken, beef or beans for more protein.
- You can use whatever vegetables you need to use up in the fridge.
- You can add a splash of white wine vinegar at the end to punch up the flavor.
OK, you get the point. The soup is versatile.
I recommend making it before the week begins to have for lunch everyday because mmm, the flavor just keeps gets better!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup cut green beans
- ⅓ cup barley
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1½ tsp basil
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the sweet potato and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and onion and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, until the barley is soft and ready to eat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a hearty bread.