September 3, 2013

Farmhouse Vegetable and Barley Soup (with homemade croutons)

Weeknights tend to get hectic this time of the year with all of the after school activities and such, so I am always on the hunt for no-fuss easy diner time ideas. This is hearty yet nutritious soup can be made ahead and be served up as great for a quick weeknight dinner. To give this soup's broth some depth of flavor, I tossed in whole Baby Bella mushrooms instead of the expensive dried Porcini mushrooms the recipe called for. I also omitted the turnips because I didn't have any on hand, and just used Yukon Gold potatoes.


8 oz. pkg of Baby Bella Mushrooms, rinsed thoroughly
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley, minced
2 bay leafs
2 T unsalted butter
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, slice in half lengthwise and then sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces and rinsed thoroughly 
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 celery stalks cut into 1/2 inch slices
23 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc)
2 T soy sauce
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 -3/4 cup pearl barley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 of a cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a dutch oven or large pot and add the leeks, carrots, celery, wine and soy sauce. Let simmer stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the celery is soft. Roughly 10 minutes.

In the meantime, tie together the thyme and parsley with some kitchen twine. Once broth is evaporated, add the broth, barley, mushrooms, herb bundle, bay leaf and garlic, plus 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and cabbage and return to a simmer for another 18-20 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and remove the herb bundle and bay leaf. You can also take out the mushrooms at this time and set them aside for another use. (I just ate them whole - they were so yummy after cooking in the broth.) Stir in the peas and lemon juice and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper if you have it.


To make the croutons...

Melt 2 T of unsalted butter in a small pan. Add some fresh thyme and parsley and stir for 20 seconds. Take 4 slices of hearty white bread and cut it into 1/2 inch pieces. Trim off the crust. Once butter is hot add the bread and season with salt and pepper. Cook the bread until it is a gold brown, 5-10 minutes. Remove the bread and let cool on paper towels.

Serve soup with the croutons and some more minced fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

(This recipe was adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2013)

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  1. Your soup looks wonderful! What a beautiful blog you have, I'm your newest follower! :) Have a great weekend!

  2. Great way to get the veggies in!! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday linky party!

  3. This soup looks absolutely divine! I had to showcase it today in my picks for last week's All Things Thursday Blog Hop Features. I hope you'll be back tonight to link up more wonderful recipes! Hope to see you there!

  4. I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you'll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!

    The party goes on through Monday.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution


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