There's nothing like a steamy bowl of soup when the weather outside holds such a chill. Just last week I was sitting in the yard soaking up some much needed sun. This week..hello Winter! So, I'm not ready to put away my soup pot, yet!
I haven't done much with barley in the past, but after researching its properties it could become a front runner in my kitchen. Here's an excerpt from the Grain Council.
- Barley, like all whole grains, reduces blood pressure.
- Eating barley has been shown to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- A flood of recent research indicates that barley's ability to control blood sugar may be exceptional, offering an important tool against rising rates of diabetes.
- Barley has more protein than corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye, and is higher in fiber and lower in soluble (starch) carbohydrates than almost all other whole grains.
- Barley may help you feel full longer, and thereby help you control your weight.
- Barley – even pearl barley – may help reduce visceral fat and waist circumference.
Vegetable Barley Soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 button mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup barley
1-2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup or more of leftover cooked chicken thighs, cut up
handful of chopped spinach
2 Tbsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot saute the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms in a small amount (1 Tbsp) of oil, until soft. Add the barley and stir around for about 2 minutes. Add the water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, spinach and parsley, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 40-45 minutes or until the barley is done. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6 people.
Tidbit for the day: Barley is February's "grain of the month"...Who knew?