Tuscan Barley Soup

*Please note, barley does contain gluten. My issue is actually with wheat, so this is a wheat-free dish.

This recipe is based off one from the New York Times. However, I made some changes, the most notable being that I used quick cooking barley instead of farro. Regular barley can take 45-60 minutes to cook. I bought Quaker Oats quick cooking barley, and it was ready in under 10. If you cannot find this, and you can use regular barley, I would cook it separate and then add it to the soup. Otherwise, it will suck up too much liquid, as would the beans- I also used canned beans instead of dried as called for in the original recipe. I seasoned it with oregano. I was going to put in a Parmesan rind, but I discovered mold on mine. Honestly, I don’t think it needed it. It was delicious without it. So delicious that my  one year old son ate 3 bowls of it, screamed when the spoonfuls were not coming fast enough, and licked the spilled soup off the highchair tray. I would say this recipe is a keeper.

Here is a picture of my son trying to grab the bowl.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  •  Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 cup  quick cooking barley

  • 1 can white beans (I used navy)

  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes

  • 6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable to make it vegan)

  •  Freshly grated Parmesan

Cook barley according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat, and add onion, celery and carrots with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened 5-10 minute. Add remaining ingredients minus the parmesan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let cook or another 5 minutes, and garnish with cheese.

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