Healing Barley Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup pearl barley
6 cups vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme (thyme is a good anti-microbial)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled, and diced
3 cups seasonal greens, chopped
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice per serving
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional, but it’s very soothing for scratchy throats)
Fresh herbs for garnish, optional



Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot and add onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 or 2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and golden but not browned. Add pearl barley, stirring to coat with oil, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add stock, thyme, and rosemary. Increase heat to bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and cook 1 hour, until barley is barely tender.

Add carrot and sweet potato, and continue cooking 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables have softened.

Add greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Use a potato masher to gently crush the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Ladle soup into bowls, adding lemon juice and cayenne pepper, if using, to each serving, and top with fresh herbs, if you like.

Serves 6 to 8.


From Full Moon Natives recipe files