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Herb-Pesto Barley Soup

One of the first crops ever cultivated, barley contains soluble fiber as well as iron, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin. Feel free to swap out the cannellini beans with great northern or navy beans.

  • prep: 25 mins
    total time: 1 hour
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from a large bunch)
  • 1 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized and tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, scraping up the browned bits (add a little water to the bottom of the pot if it begins to overbrown). Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Step 2

    Add barley and 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer partially covered over medium until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in beans and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in the 2 cups whole parsley leaves. Add more water to thin soup as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, in blender, combine dill, mint, chopped parsley, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Puree to desired consistency. Serve soup topped with herb pesto and a dollop of yogurt.

Source
Body+Soul, January/February 2009

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Reviews (6)

  • 9 Jul, 2011

    Can anyone tell me how to adjust the ingredients to make this recipe for 50 people? I know that doubling or tripling all the ingredients is not always the way to go to make a large batch. Any info is most appreciated. Thank you, Mary Lou

  • 17 Feb, 2011

    Delicious, we are always looking for ways to incorporate whole grains and beans into our diet. Great for those cold winter nights.

  • 12 Mar, 2009

    Wow! This has become one of my new favorite recipes of all time. I noticed a previous contributor said that it was extremely bland but take note: the recipe calls for 6 cups of water rather than stock or broth. I don't know if this was a misprint, but I used a combination of beef and chicken broth and it was sublime! (You could also substitute vegetable broth if you are aiming for vegetarian.) This is a hearty, thick soup that's filling and delicious, especially with the pesto

  • 12 Mar, 2009

    Wow! This has become one of my new favorite recipes of all time. I noticed a previous contributor said that it was extremely bland but take note: the recipe calls for 6 cups of water rather than stock or broth. I don't know if this was a misprint, but I used a combination of beef and chicken broth and it was sublime! (You could also substitute vegetable broth if you are aiming for vegetarian.) This is a hearty, thick soup that's filling and delicious, especially with the pesto

  • 11 Feb, 2009

    This recipe was very bland. Even after adding the pesto there was not much taste. I was very disappointed.

  • 11 Feb, 2009

    This recipe was very bland. Even after adding the pesto there was not much taste. I was very disappointed.