Nothing says grocery time like soup. If you are one of the lucky ones who can shop fresh each day I envy you. If you work long hours such as I and many others who read this...then you will understand when I say that each and every weekend it is 'out with the old' and 'in with the new' as far as my groceries go. One of the best way to get the benefits of those older veggies is to make a stew or soup. Here is a standard veggie/meat soup with the goodness of real vegetables and the added benefit of barley. You can add other bits and bobs like rice and chopped tomatoes. My boys say...whoa...not the kitchen sink mom, so I tend to stick to something simple so the flavours don't become confused.Using lean ground beef make walnut size meatballs. Alternatively, go into your freezer and use up that 1/4 bag of meatball appies you did not use for your last dinner party. For a large pot use about 20 meatballs. Brown nicely in a wee bit of olive oil (we are staying healthy on this one) along with 1 chopped white onion and four cloves of garlic. Brown slowly ....when cooked add 1 cup chopped potatoes, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped carrot. Some recipes ask you to add this at the end. As a former vegetarian I became used to making the broth from the sauted veggies and still do so. (By the way...you CAN omit the meat part on this. Just saute a veggie cube in oil before adding the fresh veggies). When veggies are softened add two bay leaves, 1 tsp summer savoury and 1 tsp basil, fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste. Then add 3 cans low sodieum beef broth and 3 cans of water (for the vegetarians...keep it to 6 cups of water). Bringto boil. Add 2 cups frozen peas and 3/4 cup barley. Stir and boil for 3 minutes. Turn to simmer and keep on low for another 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
A note: Barley absorbs and absorbs so keep adding broth if your contests are too thick. You may end up with a stew...mind you a delicious stew. Ta...I am off to a lunch date with a bowl of soup and one of Marg's buns!