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Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

Barley is a whole grain that people tend to forget about. I know it's not as trendy as quinoa, but trust me, barley is delicious and packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; all of which are important for health. The American Heart Association has repeatedly demonstrated that replacing refined grains with whole grains (like barley), lowers the risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even inflammation. This is a huge deal!! How much are we supposed to eat? The consensus is at least 3 servings a day, this can even lower your risk of death. If you aren't convinced by now that you should be eating barley for your health, then do me a favor and try this easy to follow heart healthy recipe. It's great for a fall or a winter day and can even be packed into tupperware for lunch.

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup uncooked barley

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 medium garlic clove

14.5 oz. canned, no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained

1 celery rib, chopped fine

1 1/2 cups frozen vegetables (I use a blend of carrots, peas, and green beans)

Fresh basil, chopped (a handful)

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. salt

1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Directions

1. Coat the bottom of a soup pot with cooking spray, add the olive oil, and swirl until the surface is covered.

2. Cook the onion and celery over medium-high until golden (this should not take more than 5 minutes).

3. Add the garlic and stir in the remaining ingredients except the Asiago cheese.

4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

5. Use a ladle to put soup into bowls, sprinkle with Asiago and serve with whole grain bread.

Reference: Eating whole grains may lower risk of death. American Heart Association News. http://news.heart.org/eating-more-whole-grains-may-lower-risk-of-death/.

Published June 13, 2016. Accessed September 15, 2016.


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