Barley is a great ingredient to add to soups and stews. It adds fiber and bulk, without adding a lot of calories or expense! I spend about $.65 for a pound of barley, which will make 4 big pots of soup. So far, soup is the only meal I use it in, but I'm going to start experimenting with other meals. I know some people make bread with it, and my friend Corey makes TEA out of it! Here is my recipe for barley soup.
BEEF OR CHICKEN WITH BARLEY SOUP
1 1/2C chicken or beef, cut up. The meat can be cooked, or raw. If it is raw, brown the meat in a skillet before adding it to the soup.
2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
4C chicken, or vegetable broth
1/2C uncooked barley
Heat 1Tbsp oil or butter in a heavy bottomed soup pan. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the carrots and celery and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth, chicken and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables and barley are tender. Enjoy! I like to serve this with homemade bread! My kids literally go crazy over this soup.
This soup can also be made with leftover turkey, or pork, or even diced ham. Sometimes I will substitute leeks for the onions, or add a zucchini in the Summer. Adding a diced tomato is also good in the Summer! Corn makes this soup even more spectacular.
A meal of soup and bread is very frugal and satisfying. It's a way to get vegetables and whole grains into my kids, the soup is low fat, so it doesn't add any unwanted pudge to me, and best of all, it's really easy to make! Having a homemade soup and bread night once or twice a week is one of my most valuable tools for staying within my grocery budget.