Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Adapted from: "Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen". "Barley is a thirsty, thirsty grain. It can drink up to around four times its volume in water--or the soup liquid--so I strongly suggest a two-hour soak before cooking so that you end up with soup rather than a barley dish. Of course you can always thin a thickened soup with water, but flavor is lost when you do that. If you don't have time for a soak, at least cover your barley with hot water while you prep everything to give it a a head start."
- 1 cup barley, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 large sage leaves, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 1⁄2 cup carrot, diced
- 1 -2 garlic clove, chopped
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 quarts water or 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 ears corn
- 1 (15 ounce) can borlotti beans or 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- minced parsley, to garnish
- If you haven't soaked it, cover the barley with hot water before you start prepping the soup for vegetables.
- Melt the butter with the oil, bay leaves, and sage in a wide soup pot.
- Add the onion and carrot, stir, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the onion begins to take on some color.
- Add the garlic and chopped parsley, then work in the tomato paste.
- Drain the barley; add it to the pot with 2 quarts water or stock and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, then cover and cook until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
- Meanwhile, shuck the corn and slice off the top halves of the kernels. Reversing your knife to the dull edge, press out the milk from the cobs. Set aside corn kernels and corn milk.
- When barley is tender add reserved corn and beans to soup. Heat through, taste once or more for salt, and serve with fresh minced parsley.
I love sage and wish more recipes utilized this unsung herb more often. Given that, I was excited to find this recipe which allowed me to use some plucked fresh from the garden. I loved the combination of corn, barley and beans -- different flavors and textures but all creamy and comforting. The broth was a bit under-seasoned for me and I found myself adding additional garlic (powder for quicker action) and sage as well as salt and pepper. Definite keeper. Thanks!