Dec 14, 2006

Barley Soup with Chunky Vegetables

Barley Soup with Chunky Vegetables
I have planned to eat more healthy everyday. Why wait for Jan 1st when I can start it today? My plans is to cut down on rice and chapathi portions in half and to double the vegetables in my diet, include all varieties of cereal grains in the diet. I always loved to experiment with food to produce healthy recipes packed with nutrients without compromising taste. Here is the recipe for Barley Soup with Chunky Vegetables, which I did yesterday.

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 carrot
1 fennel
1 leek
1/4 capsicum
1/2 cup any vegetables of your choice
1 head broccoli/cauliflower
garlic salt/plain salt
fresh or dried herbs like oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro

Before I start with the recipe let me tell you more about the ingredients.

Barley is a cereal grain that is high in fiber and nutrients. It has more fiber than any other cereal grain. Most of the grains like rice and wheat are hulled and all the outer layer would have been removed before it comes to your plate. Barley too is hulled, but the nutrients left after milling is more than any other grain. Read more about barley on WHFoods.

Fennel and Leek
Fennel on the left; Leek on the right

Fennel is the plant that looks like celery, but has a big pale green bulb at the bottom and celery like stalks on the top. The leaves resemble dill leaves. See the picture above. Very fragrant and add great flavor into the soup. Leek is like a giant green onion plant/scallion but is milder than onion. Leeks Lower LDL Cholesterol While Raising HDL Cholesterol. Read more about Fennel and Leek on WHFoods.

Lets start cooking now.
Cook barley in the pressure cooker with enough water to 6-8 whistles. Let it cook down.

In the meantime, Wash the fennel and leek. Separate out each stalks, wash each of it picking by hand and wash down all the dirt collected in them. Wash and Chop all the vegetables into chunks of 1/2 inch or smaller. You can transfer the content of the pressure cooker to a stock pot or continue in the same vessel to save on cleaning. Add carrot, fennel, leeks to the barley and cook on medium flame. You can add any more vegetables of your choice. When almost done, add capsicum and broccoli. Add dried or fresh herbs. Add garlic salt and pepper.

Serve hot with croƻtons.

This chunky vegetable soup is a complete meal in its own.


Anonymous said...

Good one :). I have never used fennel and leek. I usually experiment as much as possible, but somehow, these two have escaped :). thanks for sharing this recipe.

Asha said...

Good for you!:) I am a bad girl,baking cookies like crazy!
Soup looks great and sounds like a very aromatic soup! Enjoy!:))

Anonymous said...


You have a fantastic blog -- I can't wait to try out your recipes ... But, just thought you'd want to know that your pictures of fennel and leek are reversed :-)


Manjula said...

Hi Shilpa
Hope this recipe will encourage you to try out the new veggies.

Hi Asha,
Yes, Its healthy & quick & easy too. This eats like a meal. So I don't have to cook anything more. :)

Hi Acee
Thanks for noticing that the pictures are reversed. I just edited the post to correct it. Try out some recipes & let me know how it went.

Gerry said...

I made this soup last week and it is a big hit- unusual ingredients that work very well and it is easy to add something else too.
The photos are so very cool.

The Bittersweet City said...

A lovely blog and some wonderful recipes here. I found this one when googling what to put in fennel and barley soup. It's certainly a good recipe for a cold late February evening here in London!

I shall be back to try out some of your others soon.

Unknown said...

I tried this soup, and it was very good. All ingredients and flavors worked very well together. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Manjula said...

Hi Aleena,

I'm glad you liked the soup. You can also add some cooked beans of your choice for some protein. Its a complete meal.