Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl loaded with veggies, beans and barley and packed with fiber and protein.
Most times when I make soup I don’t cook with a recipe. My favorite way is to let the ingredients in the refrigerator tell the story. Try it sometime; soup (unlike baking) is very forgiving. It’s practically goof-proof.
Last week a friend of mine called to see if I wanted to walk along the lake with her. My knee-jerk reaction was um no, it’s too cold, but she’s so dedicated to walking even when the temps are below zero, that I agreed if for no other reason than I didn’t want to be a wimp.
We even convinced another friend to join us and you know how it goes ~ three women walking and talking and before we knew it a few miles were behind us.
By the time I got home I was chilled to the bone and a pot of soup was the only solution ~ a pot of steaming, flavor loaded soup . . . the kind I already had all the ingredients for and that’s how this Vegetable Barley Soup was born.
Summer Minestrone Soup is loaded with summer vegetables like sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans and bell peppers along with garbanzo beans, spinach and pasta. It’s a hearty taste of summer in a bowl.
It’s no secret, soup’s my jam. Even after all these years my husband still wonders how I can enjoy a bowl of thick chowder in the middle of summer. Simple. It’s sooo good.
I’m also a big promoter of farmers markets and roadside farm stands for locally grown produce. These hard-working farmers are an important part of American culture.
This Summer Minestrone Soup is a combination of both ~ a light, yet somehow filling delicious soup loaded with fresh seasonal veggies like tomatoes, green beans, celery, bell pepper, carrots, the last ear of sweet corn from the frig and zucchini from my friend’s garden. I also added some spinach and garbanzo beans for extra protein and flavor as well as a little pasta. It’s a bowl full of bright summer flavor.
This time last year I resolved (in a post no less) to stop wasting food. It’s so darn expensive, right? I created Fiesta Chicken and Rice making good use of some pantry items that were well, just hangin’ around. I tried to keep it up, but alas, fell in to my old ways buying willy-nilly (is that still a term?) , the result of which was just too.much.food. So I’m tackling this resolution again and I hope you’ll join with me. Kitchen comrades in arms, if you will. A quick inventory here revealed five cans of Great Northern beans (there must have been one heck of a sale), a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, two tubes of tomato paste, four large containers of chicken stock, an almost empty jar of Nutella (oops), four packages of Uncle Ben’s 90 second brown rice, three cans of artichokes, a jar of pesto and way more I won’t bore you with. Between the pantry and refrigerator, I had all the ingredients for this Tomato White Bean Soup. . . minus the Nutella (which makes a mighty fine dessert all by itself). You know what they say ~ “happiness is hot soup on a cold day”.
Do you remember outdoor drive-in movies? I used to love going when I was a little girl. We’d always wear our pajamas to the drive-in and pop our own popcorn before we left. Years later we took our kids a few times before drive-ins became extinct. Last Friday night our neighbors hosted their last outdoor movie night of the season in their backyard ~ like a drive-in, but with chairs instead of cars. There’s usually about 20 or so people, an oldie-but-a-goodie mindless sort of movie, plenty of food to eat before the movie starts and even popcorn and candy during the movie. These people know how to do movies right! It started out as a beautiful evening, but got cold quickly and even the bonfire and the pot of spicy Homemade Chili I contributed didn’t provide as much warmth as we needed. The next day as I wondered why on earth I ate so much and was still trying to get rid of the chill I felt, Spicy Tomato Lentil DETOX Soup was born. . .
It’s been raining here for several days ~ ugh ~ and the forecast is for several more days of heavy rain. I shouldn’t complain (though obviously I am) because thank God there aren’t experiencing hurricanes or flooding in these parts. Still, it’s bone-chilling leaving me with
little no desire to go to the grocery store, but on the upside, it does bring out my creativity ~ as in what can I make with what’s already here? The idea for this Minestrone Italian Sausage Soup recipe is part freezer, part pantry, part end of the year garden. It’s hearty and packed with veggies in a rich, tomatoey broth, enhanced with the flavor of sweet Italian sausage and a downpour (you’ll excuse the pun) of grated parmesan raining down on each bowl.