Cold times call for desperate measures. Which to me, means lots and lots of soup. I just love being wrapped in a plethora of sweaters and blankets, wool socks that go almost to my knees, drinking multiple mugs of tea and eating bowls of hot soup to keep warm while watching Love Actually and The Holiday and The Family Stone over and over again.
Fritz would rather I just reset the thermostat. But I can’t keep everyone happy, can I?
The two of us have been feeling the post-Thanksgiving rundown, and I wanted to make a soup that was chock full o’ veggies to try to give us a little boost. I did a little searching and found a great recipe in 100 Best Health Foods–it’s a non-meat recipe, but it promised to be “hearty”, which is a necessity for the Fritz stamp of approval. That man does not like a thin broth, no sir. So if you are eagerly awaiting the holidays like me, or just trying to save your landlord some money, turn down the heat and get your blankets out!
Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup (adapted from 100 Best Health Foods)
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 6 C vegetable broth (okay…I used bouillon cubes again–don’t judge me!)
- heaping 1/2 C barley, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- few dried sprigs of thyme
- 1 t dried parsley
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 16 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need any extra salt)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the stock, barley, and herbs, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered until the barley is just beginning to soften, 30 minutes to an hour.
Gather up your veggies! Add the carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes (and a pinch of sugar if you like) to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat back to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, until everything is nice and tender.
Finally, add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to add a cup or two of hot water at this point, depending on what your desired “chunk” to “broth” ratio is.
I’m sorry. That’s a disgusting phrase, isn’t it?
Simmer until the cabbage is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes), then serve in warm bowls.
Who needs the thermostat up now? Not me!
In other exhilarating news, Fritz and I have made a life-changing decision. Momentous and quite exciting, if I do say so myself. Are you ready for this?
(No, it’s not babies. God, no! You can all take a deep breath. We are both still in school, for goodness’ sake! And we’re still babies ourselves!)
We have officially unplugged the TV. It’s still there in all of its 37″, HD glory, but only for our designated movie nights (that’d be the weekend). We have realized that we spend way too much time watching horrendous TV–we never got higher than channel 21, anyway–and not enough time just being. Isn’t that so hippie of us?
Anyway, since this big change (that happened Friday morning), we’ve studied a lot more, read a lot more, cooked more, slept more (!), and just hung out together. It has been really, really nice. You don’t even realize what an obnoxious background noise the TV is until you turn it off. It’s just plain peaceful in these parts now!
And I can still watch The Office and 16 and Pregnant on the internet. I haven’t gone completely off the deep end.