Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Garden Barley Stew


It's becoming more apparent that Summer is waning and Fall is arriving. Don't get me wrong, that sigh was one of contentment, not contentiousness. 

I love this time of year.

Cool nights, beautiful days, our garden is thoroughly confused though. Because it's still pumping out the veggies and in celebration of this I made this delicious, chock full of vegetable, stew. 

You won't miss the meat in this, and for you hardcore carnivores, by all means add some if you absolutely have too. One taste though, and you know this beauty hits all the comfort notes. 

It's hearty (psst...even tho it's meatless!), filling and oh so good!

Add in anything and everything you have on hand. This version used fresh tomatoes, peppers, onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, potato, garlic, green beans and black beans. If I had more vegetables, I would have thrown them in also. That's what's so nice about this soup, it's changeable.

Add kale, beets, turnips, eggplant, mushrooms....

Don't have barley? Use rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, lentils, even whole oats!

See, it's an open book. 

And a delicious one at that.

2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, rough chop
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, halved and chopped
1 small potato, small cubes
1 can cut green beans, drained 
1 can beans, (black, kidney, pinto or white)-rinsed and drained
1 sprig thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 cup barley or other grain


In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add in tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. 
Add in onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes soften and break down, about 8-10 minutes more. Use a stick blender or potato masher to blend tomatoes into a sauce.
Add in chicken broth and all the vegetables except zucchini. Bring to a low boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and cover slightly and cook until carrots and potato are tender, another 20 minutes. 
Add in zucchini, green beans, beans and barley. Stir to combine and cook on low until grain is softened and vegetables are tender, not mushy. Another 12-15 minutes for quick barley. 
Remove thyme sprig if used and taste for seasoning. 
We love to sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving!


 This recipe is shared on My Link Parties. Also shared on Weekend Potluck and http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/and Foodie Friends Friday