vegetable barley soup

In honor of the fact that I have gone back to work full time after 12 years of not working for money, I am quickly posting a recipe I am currently very happy to have in my arsenal.  In fact, it is simmering on the stove this minute.  I’m pretty sure this is the easiest meal I make.  It qualifies as a hearty meal in my book, and it can be on the table and into a tummy that is headed out for soccer or football, even if all of a sudden you find yourself to be teaching until 3pm every day.  I discovered this soup mix from Bob’s Red Mill last year and I have ordered it in bulk for my deep freeze.  It is like a bean mix except that it cooks much faster because all the pieces are tiny, but it still tastes like a real homemade soup.   There are even some weensy little whole wheat alphabet pasta pieces in there.  So cute!  You can dress it up any way you like.  There are several variations on the package, but it’s also great just with broth.   Add some whole wheat bread and dinner is served.

Vegetable Barley Soup

1 28 oz package Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix

2 quarts organic chicken broth (I buy this from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  It’s cheaper than the non-organic stuff from the grocery store that you buy by the can.)

1-2 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in the bottom of large heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven.  Cook onions, garlic and celery for 5-10 minutes.  Add broth and bring to boil.  Add soup mix and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils in the soup mix are soft.

bread rising

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/4 cups water

1 scant tablespoon yeast (or one package)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in water.  Add honey, salt and oil.  Stir in flour and knead for about 5 minutes.  Set dough aside in oiled bowl to rise until doubled, for about one hour (less if you set it near your simmering soup pot).  Form dough into one large loaf or two smaller (they cook faster) loaves.  Place on parchment lined half sheet pan and allow to sit about 20 minutes.  Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned on top.

easy whole wheat bread