The earthy flavours of spinach, chickpeas and barley come together in this Winter dish which is Turkish in style. A soup, it is full of comfort, nourishment and hope for the future. Are you with me in your love for Winter soups? And with everything that is going on in the world at the moment, we need a little hope for the future. The inspiration for this came from Turquoise, a special book about Turkish cuisine.
In India, yoghurt curries are very common – yoghurt heated gently and flavoured with spices. In the Middle East, yoghurt is used for soups, and they are also incredibly delicious.
This soup has bite and substance thanks to the handful of pearl barley. The creamy yoghurt and a wealth of spices makes this is a such a nourishing bowl.
Soup Mix is a packet mix of barley, dried peas and various lentils that is easily available in supermarkets. It it not something I would normally buy, but my Father had a couple of bags in his pantry and I inherited them.
During a particularly cold snap, they were used to make a hearty and creamy vegetable soup. It is a soup that is warming and delicious. It also freezes very well.
The soup’s secrets are – the inclusion of fennel with leeks, onions and celery. Fennel is rarely included in soups yet it goes so well with lentils and beans. We have an extraordinary Dried Fava Soup that uses fennel in its base. The second secret is that half of the lentil-barley mix is cooked separately and blended to a puree before including in the soup. This gives the soup a beautiful creamy texture.
Let’s face it, Barley is primarily a winter grain, cooked into soups, pilafs, “risottos” and vegetable stews. Its creamy texture is divine in winter, pairing well with parsnips in particular, with winter hard herbs and parsley, with tomatoes, and, well, with me. I fell in love with barley this year.
Having experimented with making barley water and roasting barley to make barley coffee, I can now leave those uses behind – I am not a terrific fan of either although they are interesting. But wintery barley uses – sign me up.
This is a huge vegetable and barley soup, full of goodness and just right for a day when the temperature doesn’t get over about 9C. Best to take some books and a bowl of soup and curl up in bed on those days.
Similar recipes include Lentil, Barley and Vegetable Soup, Turnips with Quince Molasses, Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce, Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Parsnip and Barley Soup, and Barley and Root Vegetable Soup.
Healthy, warming and nourishing, a perfect soup for the coldest of days.
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 Soup with Vegetables, and Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.
A creamy delicious and wonderfully healthy soup for the coldest of days
Last winter we fell in love with Barley. It was never an ingredient that I used very much. And because of that, it retained an old-fashioned aura, something my Grandmother would have used in her soups and stews, but less common in today’s kitchen.
Then Jude and I got talking on Twitter about Barley, and she mentioned her amazing soup that combines parsnips and barley. I have to say that this combination is fantastic and much more than the sum of the ingredients. The parsnips melt into the soup and the barley adds creaminess and texture. It is pretty good, I have to say. I tweaked her recipe outline a little, and here it is.
Barley has made a comeback into today’s kitchen. Ottolenghi is not afraid to use it and his books contain several recipes. Other well known cooks have also included it. It has become a staple winter ingredient in our pantry too.
Are you after similar recipes? Try Lentil, Barley and Vegetable Soup, Creamy Parsnip Soup with Curry Spices, Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame, Adzuki Beans, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Barley Soup with Vegetables, and Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.
Adzuki Beans with Sesame, Tamari and Miso – complimentary flavours for a warming soup
I must admit it. Adzuki beans have not reached the status of being a firm favourite in this household, as the sweetness of the beans can feel a little overwhelming in savoury settings. We had a couple of recipes we stuck to when cooking Adzuki. It was a pity, because we love the name Adzuki, it has such an evocative elegance about it.
That is, until recently. Via Lucy of the most excellent blog, Nourish Me, we discovered the tempering effects of cooking Adzuki with Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari and Miso, and adding parsley and celery leaves. It makes sense, right? The more Northern Asian flavours to compliment a bean used commonly in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cooking. We also discovered how well Pumpkin goes with Adzuki.
You might like to also try Yoghurt and Barley Soup, South Indian Pumpkin Soup, Adzuki Sundal (briefly stirfried with coconut), Adzuki Bean and Parsley Soup, Special Pumpkin Soup, and Red Rice with Adzuki Bean Congee.
Or are you after similar Barley Soup recipes? Try Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame, Adzuki Beans, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Barley Soup with Vegetables, and Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.
You might like to browse our other Adzuki recipes, all of our Barley recipes, other Pumpkin Recipes, and our Soup recipes. We hope you enjoy! Or simply spend some time exploring our Mid Autumn dishes.
A creamy and hearty soup for mid to late Winter, even into the cold of Spring
In October, 2001, I shifted back to cold Adelaide from temperate Sydney, and the cold weather was a shock! It had me craving soups. In Sydney I was not so keen on the more traditional English and heavy European food any longer – I had turned towards more Indian, Asian and Spicy food. However, coming back into the cold in Adelaide from warm Sydney made me hunger for hearty food – pasties, puddings and soups. How much heartier can you get than Barley Soup?
This really is a hearty soup, made with caramelised vegetables that come together with the barley (some whole and some pureed) to make a great, Italian soup. Beautifully creamy, it is a delight for cold nights and wet weekends.
It can be a tad confusing, as orzo in Italian is barley while in Greek it is rice shaped pasta. For this recipe, we are definitely using barley.
Are you after similar recipes? Try Genoese Minestrone with Vegetables, Lentil, Barley and Vegetable Soup, Barley and Root Vegetable Soup, Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage, and Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Crispy Garlic.
Also try Pearl Barley and Porcini “Risotto”.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in the Kitchen. It appears there as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes.