Regular vegetable soup is pretty boring. If you like things a little more interesting, give this lovely little soup a shot. The portions are small, but this recipe is easily doubled, tripled. Use your own judgement.
Heat a large pan and spray with cooking oil. Add onion, carrots, celery and potato. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Rinse pearl barley, then add to the pan together with the stock and bouquet garni and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, until veggies are tender. Discard the bouquet garni, stir in milk and heat for 3 minutes (gently). STir in chopped fresh herbs and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Add a bit of yogurt to each bowl before serving.
If you're not worried about a vegetarian vegetable soup, use chicken stock.
Bouquet garni can be substituted for 3 stalks parsley, 1 sprig thyme and 1 bay leaf.
I substitute pearl barley for quick cooking, but cook time needs to be increased to 30-35ish minutes.