Enjoying life’s finer pleasures isn’t always about making or eating world-class food. There’s a great deal of enjoyment in simple things as well, such as this quick-and-easy-to-make soup.
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz can cut green beans, drained
½ cup pearled barley, rinsed
1 large white potato, cubed
½ large yellow onion, diced
8 oz package frozen white corn
3 large carrots, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 qt vegetable broth
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
Rind of parmigiano-reggiano (about 3 oz)
Salt and pepper to taste
When we made this the other day, we didn’t have vegetable broth laying around, but we had vegetable bouillon, so we used that instead. After that was mixed together well with the quart of water, we added the diced tomatoes, liquid and all. We figured that the liquid would carry some of the flavor of the tomatoes with it. To the simmering tomato broth, we added the barley, bringing it to a low boil and then letting it simmer for about 45 minutes, which is what the barley needs.
While that was simmering, we cut the rest of the vegetables, adding them in after the barley was done. We cubed the potato, but you could just as easily slice it if you like. The last thing was the parm rind, which is a significant element in the soup. We always keep several hanging around for soups and pasta sauces. The rest of the cooking process involved simmering until the vegetables were done, about another hour.
We served it up with a nice, warm, olive batard and Keller’s Creamery Plugra (“more fat!” butter. There was enough soup in this batch to get three lunches out of over a week.