Pearl barley and bean soup

 

 

I have a tendency to always be cold and chilly during the winter months, and when I am looking for something to warm me up, soup is my perfect companion .

I have to admit my soup variety  has increased quite a bit after moving to UK and this Pearl barley soup is a permenent addition these days.

 

 

There is a barley and bean mix sold in the supermarket called soup mix or broth mix and I started using them in the beginning for this soup, but  recently I found a new and  interesting way. I just buy plain pearl barley and make my own mix with the beans available in stock. It is interesting how the flavor of the soup changes when I add different beans and daals but the main character of this dish is always Barley.

 

 

There are two kinds of barley, Hulled and pearl. Hulled barley is the whole grain form of barley with only the outer shell removed. Pearl barley is the polished grain, but is still good for you because unlike many other grains which contain fibre only in the outer bran layer, barley contains fibre throughout the entire kernel, hence it extends the feeling of fullness. It is considered a perfect grain for people who want to control blood sugar levels and hunger.

I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and  this soup is the perfect answer… carbohydrate, protein and vegetables all in one for a perfect start of the day.

 

Pearl Barley and bean soup

  • Barley and bean mixture – 1 cup ( washed and soaked overnight)
  • Olive oil-2 table spoon
  • Garlic( chopped)-1 clove
  • Onion(chopped)-1
  • Chicken stock-4 -6cups
  • Celery(chopped)-1 cup
  • Carrot(chopped)-1 cup
  • Tomato (chopped)-1
  • Parsly(chopped)-1 tablespoon
  • Salt
  • pepper

Method

  • Heat the oil and saute garlic and all the vegetables except tomato and parsly until tender.
  • Add the soaked barley and  chicken stock, cook in low flame until the beans and pearl barley is tender  and starting to break down. (It will take  30- 40 minutes in low flame)
  • Add salt, pepper, chopped tomato and parsly , mix  well and boil again. Add more water or chicken stock to adjust the consistancy of the soup if it is needed. (You can add a dollop of double cream to finish and that will make this soup extra special )