August 2, 2009

Barley Soup with Root Vegetables

Barley Soup with Root Vegetables

A light and refreshing spring-like soup, the flavors of this dish were a surprisingly tasty combination. Although most dishes with root vegetables are generally thought to be winter seasonal, the delicate taste of the broth would make this good all year round. This is also rather simple to make, with most of the preparation being veggie chopping. Leeks and garlic are sauteed in olive oil, and water, barley, and vegetable bouillon are added next. The brand of bouillon you use will determine the final flavor of the broth, so use a good one. (I did NOT use a low-sodium version as the recipe suggested, but I suppose that saved me from having to add seasoning at the end.) Carrots and celery root (celeriac) are added at the next stage, and everything is simmered for about 45 minutes. I'm not a huge fan of celery, and celery root tastes just like a milder version of celery...but it adds a wonderful sweetness to the soup that goes nicely with the pungent leeks and garlic. Carrots add to the sweetness as well, and I think so does the fresh dill that's added at the end. The veggies are cooked just long enough to retain some of their texture, and the chewy rice-like barley adds some substance and heartiness. And there's just a little lemon juice added for tang.

Make again? Surprisingly, yes. This would make a great appetizer for a much heartier main course. Or, pair with a crusty bread for a light meal. Note, leftovers thicken considerably.



Barley Soup with Root Vegetables
Vegetarian Times, January 2006

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