Hearty Barley Soup


Serves 6 to 8

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large yellow onion
8 – 10 mushrooms, fresh or dried
5 garlic cloves
3 T olive or cooking oil
2 bay leaves
1 t thyme leaves
1 t oregano leaves
1 qt. broth, beef, chicken or vegetable
1 qt. water
¾ to 1 c barley
optional ham bone, beef bone or bacon crumbles
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot to moderate heat. Add the oil. Chop the vegetables to small dice and add to the heated pot. Stir occasionally. Add the herbs. When the vegetables are cooked, add the liquids and the barley. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, covered for at least half an hour.

Meat is optional. It adds richness, but is not necessary. If adding a ham or beef bone, allow to simmer. If using an inexpensive cut of beef, then brown the meat with the vegetables. After the soup has simmered, remove the beef and allow it to cool for easy handling. Cut it across the grain or shred into small pieces, then add it back to the soup.


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