Vegetable Barley Soup

Tonight I decided to make some sort of soup for dinner to help warm up my insides since it’s so cold and dreary outside. I decided to use the Vegetable Barley Soup recipe from a recent issue of Guidepost’s magazine. The soup cooks on the stovetop for 90 minutes so it’s a great way to warm up the room a little bit! Did I mention that I was able to use fresh herbs from my garden? They were wonderful and fragrant and I didn’t mind one bit having to go out into the rain to gather them! I did make some modifications to the original recipe. The modified recipe I used yields just under 4 quarts of soup total. As an afterthought I probably would have liked to add an additional cup of barley to the mix. There is ample liquid to allow for doing so.

Here’s what I used:
2 cartons chicken stock (original recipe calls for only 1)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (original recipe does not call for this)
3 carrots (I left them unpeeled)
2 ribs celery
1/2 large Spanish onion (original recipe calls for an entire onion)
4 cloves garlic (original recipe calls for only 3)
3 bay leaves, oregano, basil, parsley, chives, and the leaves from the two celery stalks
1 C barley
1 can kidney beans (original recipe calls for them to be rinsed and drained but I added the liquid)

The original recipe calls for 2 cups of additional vegetables but I doubled it to 4 cups since I increased the liquid. Here’s what I added:

1 can butter beans (I also added the liquid from the can)
2 ears sweet white corn, sliced off of the cob
1 medium yellow summer squash
a few handfuls of okra

To view the original recipe and the rest of the cooking instructions, you can visit the Guideposts link by clicking here. I served my soup with homemade cracked pepper buttermilk biscuits, though I think I would have preferred a nice warm slice of sourdough loaf instead. Enjoy!

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