What a nice soup and you can make it in a flash. I had not soaked my barley so I just rinsed it and put it in the rice cooker to cook while I did the prep of the rest of the ingredients. I did saute the hard veggies for a few minutes in just a splash of olive oil, I think that really enhances the flavor of the vegetables. I also added a bay leaf as I think all vegetable soups benefit from bay. I would not use cabbage again, I did not care for it. I would rather add some spinach. Barley is such a great grain and it works very nicely with the rest. This soup is vegan but I am not so I used some pesto I had which was made with cheese and also topped the soup with big curls of shaved parmesan as a garnish.
We really enjoyed this thanks and it filled my family up. The pesto really make it for us.
Another winner thanks Nancy! I made this for our lunch and we both thoroughly enjoyed it and could feel it doing us good! I made a couple of little changes-used a can of whole tomatoes (which I diced) and three tablespoons of Lighter Basil Pesto to use it up. Otherwise I stuck to the very simple recipe. Thanks for posting, I'll be making this one again.