Now onto the soup. Even though there wasn't any meat in it, this is definitely a hearty soup-I'd say it was more like stew. I wanted to keep it vegetarian, so I used vegetable broth, but you can use chicken broth if that's what you have. Matt and I both really enjoyed this soup and loved how healthy it was-it really is a meal that you can feel good about eating!
Vegetable Barley Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 small-medium sized red potatoes, diced
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped, reserve juice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
64 ounces vegetable broth
1 cup frozen mixed veggies - lima beans, corn, peas, green beans
3/4 cup pearl barley
Pinch black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan. Add onions, carrots, and celery; saute 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes; saute 2 minutes. Add potatoes, thyme, pepper, then add the broth, juices from the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, slightly uncovered. Add frozen veggies and barley. Let simmer 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.
Source: Adapted from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations