Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Herb-Pesto Barley Soup

I found this soup to be incredibly boring and in need of Parmesan cheese. Mr. Snowgoose thought it was savory (though he refused to add yogurt to his). I was surprised to see how willing I was to try and make pesto again so soon! This also came from the January 2009 issue of Body and Soul Magazine.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup pearled barley
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from a large bunch)
1 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized and tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, scraping up the browned bits (add a little water to the bottom of the pot if it begins to overbrown). Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add barley and 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer partially covered over medium until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in beans and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in the 2 cups whole parsley leaves. Add more water to thin soup as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, in blender, combine dill, mint, chopped parsley, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Puree to desired consistency. Serve soup topped with herb pesto and a dollop of yogurt.

Cook's notes:
1. Did you see how much salt and pepper I had to add?
2. The mint made the soup too minty for my liking and I added fresh basil to the pesto mix along with Parmesan cheese.
3. I goofed on the vinegar added the wrong kind.

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