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Delicious is the best word for this soup. I made it for dinned and it supplied a full meal in a bowl. I loved the wee dumplings and as was suggested in the other review I made them in a separate pot and added them at the soup at serving. This is a comforting and nourishing soup that fills and warms you from the inside. The only change I made was to use mushroom soup in place of tomato as we don't care for canned tomato soup. The barley, beans and veggies with ham make this a meal in a bowl.
This is a delicous soup. I had a ham bone with about 1# of meat and added 4 cans of unsalted chicken broth to a large pot instead of the water. I added the onions and fresh thyme,basil, rosemary and parsley. After 2 hours I removed the ham bone and ham, chopped the ham and added back to the pot. Bringing the pot to a medium boil I added about 8 cups of chopped fresh vegetables; celery, carrots, cabbage and the barley. I also added l can of corn and 1 can of butter beans and 2 cans tomatoe soup. I tasted before salting and added grated pepper. The little dumplings were boiled in a separate pot before adding to the soup. They are a worthwhile addition; the kids loved them. The recipe would be easier of course with frozen vegys but I had an afternoon to kill and I had fun. Highly recommend spoiling the family with this soup. Served with my homemade sourdough bread.