This recipe has macrobiotic overtones, but feel free to play with flavours in any way that you wish. It has the interesting flavours of sesame oil, tamari and umeboshi vinegar.
The recipe comes from a scribbled recipe on a piece of paper, as many of my recipes do. I have collected them over millennia, it seems. To the original recipe I have added some olive oil as the stated sesame oil was not enough for sautéing the onions and vegetables.
Would you like to try similar recipes? Try Adzuki Bean and Barley Soup with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Barley Soup with Sage and Garlic, Barley Pilaf, Barley and Red Kidney Beans, and Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.
Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 2 hours
Serves: 3-4, depending how you use it
This recipe can be doubled.
Beforehand: Soak the barley for at least an hour
1 Tblspn sesame oil
2 Tblspn olive oil, or as needed
150g onions, diced
100g leeks, sliced thinly
a knob ginger, finely chopped or grated (about 7g)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g potatoes, cut into chunks
175g carrots, sliced thinly or diced
50g parsnips, cut into 1/2 cm dice
0.5 cup barley, soaked for at least 1 hour
2 tspn tamari
2 tspn umeboshi vinegar
Saute the onions in the oils until soft and translucent. Add the leeks and cook until soft.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little more oil if necessary.
Stir in the root vegetables and stir to coat with the oil. Pour in the barley with its soaking water. Add the stock, tamari and umeboshi vinegar.
Cook for 1 – 1.5 hours, adding more water or stock if necessary.
Adjust the thickness depending whether you want soup or stew, and bring the vegetables back to the boil. Serve as a soup, or as a stew accompanied by lots of green vegetables.
This is indeed a wintery dish. It can be frozen, especially if you make a double batch.
It tastes even better the next day.
I like to add a little white pepper.