Garlic Barley Soup

Garlic Barley Soup garnished with a couple of fresh garlic cloves.

Flu Season Garlic Soup! I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks and each week I become more concerned about boosting my immune system. I got the flavor right and then came the consistency. I wanted something thick and creamy (non-dairy creamy of course). Last weeks batch was spot on but I shared my bounty through a Heartie kitchen delivery and forgot to take any photos. Yes, my house has smelled of garlic for weeks, no vampires here! I would like to think this soup will make us immune to all viruses, but alas I know better.

A whole garlic bulb broken into cloves, peeled and chopped.

I posted about garlic and the health benefits a couple of weeks ago. Garlic contains compounds called allion and allicin, which have direct antiviral effects. It is excellent when eaten raw but even if it’s cooked it still has sulfur-containing compounds which have anti-microbial activity. Did you know during WW2 garlic was dubbed “Russian Penicillin”? After running out of antibiotics the Soviet government turned to this ancient treatment for their soldiers. Fresh crushed garlic is apparently the star of nature’s antibiotic, and the fresh part is important, that minced garlic in jars will not do. Let one clove of fresh minced or crushed garlic sit for 15 minutes or longer (up to an hour), this allows allinase enzyme to be released. Then mix the translucent garlic and the liquid released with warm tea, water, or honey. Do this 2-3 times a day for a day or two. I would contact a doctor if you have an infection but in these uncertain times if you can’t get ahold of someone you can begin this treatment while you wait to speak to your caregiver.
*disclaimer – I have no medical background, elementary school teacher and plant based nutrition consultant here*

“Russian Penicillin”

Like garlic, onions also contain the antimicrobial compounds allion and allicin. To get this superfood’s full flu-fighting action, it is recommended to consume a serving of raw onion every few hours! Not something I plan on doing anytime soon. If that seems unpalatable, add extra servings to your meals. This garlic soup contains a healthy dose of onions.

Trying to put these healthy vegetables into your food is much better, because then it’s part of your lifestyle. There is no better time than the present to get your immune system healthy and increase your bodies ability to fight off infection.

Garlic Barley Soup

Garlic Barley Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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A hearty creamy garlic soup, ready to boost your immunity, comfort in a bowl.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, each clove peeled and diced
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pepper
  • salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Add onion, carrots, and celery to a large pot over medium heat, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Saute veggies until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; then add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  5. Add broth, barley, basil, oregano, turmeric and bay leaf.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Cook soup until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf.
  9. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender. Return pureed soup to pot and stir to incorporate.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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Veggie Barley Soup

Veggie Barley Soup

This is a soup I have come to love. Before heading down this heart healthy path, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used barley. I think both of those times it was for a soup and I only purchased what I needed for that particular day. Today, barley has become a staple in my pantry. I buy it in bulk and then store it in my own Rubbermaid container.

Last Friday I spent the day making food to take to my college aged son. It makes me feel good to make up healthy little packages for him. I make things for him that are easily frozen and taste good after having been frozen. We discovered vegan macaroni and cheese doesn’t unfreeze well. Veggie Barley soup is perfect for freezing in small containers. I was able to get 4 small containers from this batch of soup. Each container has about 2 1/2 servings of soup.

Freezer ready Veggie Barley soup

I use a homemade vegetable broth when I make this soup. I keep it written in the front of one of my cookbooks because I make it all the time. I usually make up a double batch and keep it in a large spice container in my spice cabinet. This is not my recipe and I cannot remember where it came from but this is a photo. You can always use a store bought vegetable broth if you prefer.

Veggie Broth recipe

Veggie Barley Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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A hearty barley soup packed with veggies.


Ingredients


• splash of water (to sauté)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp. minced garlic)
• 8 cups vegetable broth
• 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 can diced tomatoes (I use chili ready diced tomatoes)
• 2 cups frozen cut green beans
• 1 cup pearled barley
• 1 cup frozen corn
• 1 tsp. dried basil
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup frozen peas
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a non-stick large pot over medium heat, add water, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Add additional water to prevent sticking if necessary.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring constantly.
  4. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, green beans, barley, corn, basil, oregano, and bay leaf.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  6. Cook soup until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  7. Mix in peas and cook until tender and hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Remove soup from heat and discard bay leaf. Season with pepper to taste.


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Buddha Bowl

Savory Buddha Bowl

Another fun mix up!

I started off this buddha bowl by putting pearled barley in my rice cooker. I hadn’t tried barley in the cooker before but seeing that it’s similar to other grains I toss in there that aren’t rice….lentils…quinoa….I was willing to give it a shot. I put 2 cups of uncooked barley and 2 1/2 cups of water in the rice cooker, closed the lid and set it for white rice. Whenever I try something that isn’t rice in the rice cooker I keep an eye on it just to be safe. I tried red lentils in there once, left the kitchen for a bit and came back to a mess of water, lentils and mush all over the cabinet, countertop and floor. Don’t do red lentils in the rice cooker.

I washed and slit the sides of two sweet potatoes and put them in my microwave to bake. My microwave has a setting for baked potatoes so when I bake sweet potatoes I aways set it for 1 more than I actually have in there. So I set it for 3 potatoes and it baked 2 sweet potatoes perfectly. Taking them from the microwave, I peeled their skins off (I know its the healthiest part) and diced them, then tossed them in a skillet with a bit of water and cumin just to keep them warm while everything else finished up.

While the sweet potatoes and barley were cooking, I chopped up an onion and sautéed it in a little water in my large copper skillet (yes, the as seen on tv one). I chopped up some greens, it was the bag that says super greens, a mix of things…and put them in to sauté with the onions. I also tossed in a few chickpeas and some black beans that were hanging out in my fridge from something else. Cook on low heat and add water as necessary, feel free to add some spices here if you want.

The tofu was a little package of prepared tofu called tofu steak. It was the first time I have seen it so I wanted to try it out. It came from Fresh Thyme and thats the only place I have seen it, I can’t remember the brand and unfortunately the packaging is long gone. I chopped up the tofu and put it in a small skillet with a little orange soy sauce just to heat it through.

Once everything is heated and finished, just assemble your buddha bowl. I sprinkled the top with Braggs Nutritional Yeast and then drizzled Hak’s BBQ sauce over the top.

Eating plant based doesn’t have to be difficult. Buddha bowls make a tasty meal. You can change up the ingredients and never have the exact same one twice. I have lots of barley left over in my fridge for something else..maybe some soup.

Enjoy! ❤️ur❤️. Remember the same diet that is good for your heart, is good for your arteries, is good for your whole body.