I love winter and I love tucking into a delicious hearty soup in the wintertime. Here's a one such recipe that will make you smile with every spoonful. I learned it from my mom (love you Mom!). You can add different vegetables to it like potato, leek, and zucchini just to name a few. So experiment with whatever you've got!
Here's the recipe!
Vegetable Barley Soup
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, finely chopped (I use the food processor for fast action)
6 celery stalks, finely chopped (I use the food processor for fast action)
1/4 cup barley, washed (if you can, soak them for about an hour, and they'll cook faster in the soup).
1 box of vegetable broth, less salt variety if possible
lemon juice, salt & pepper, to taste
chili pepper flakes (optional, I like heat)
Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have cooked down and slightly golden. Add carrots and celery, and cook them for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add broth and barley, turn up heat. Once the soup is brought to a boil, turn down heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes until the barley is completely cooked (you've have to do a tooth test to be sure). Add lemon juice, salt & pepper to your liking.
Serve immediately. You can also keep it refrigerated in an air tight container for about 2 days - it's also great as a leftover.