Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and Barley Soup

We have reached the point in winter where I am over wearing shoes with rubber soles and eating warm, hearty dishes.  Not to say that there aren't many, many incredible warm hearty dishes, but is anyone else with me in craving a real red tomato?!  To cheer myself up I found some incredible spring and summer dresses to hold myself over until the weather decides to join my state of mind.  I know that this is a blog about food, but let's be honest, I am a lady.

Despite my desires, it is still necessary to eat warm, hearty meals while maintaining a slim and healthy lifestyle.  This Brussels sprouts and barley soup recipe from has been moderately adapted to suit my tastes.  True, it does use some butter, but it makes a gigantic amount of soup and is loaded with vegetables so it's not all that bad.

To start, you will need lots of vegetables and they are all easy to find in the winter.  If you're lucky, and you frequent Green City Market, you may even find some brussels sprouts and turnips there!  The recipe calls for one cup of chopped green beans, one and a quarter cups chopped turnip, one half cup chopped leeks,  and one half cup chopped carrots to start.  I just use a handful of green beans (I like a lot), a whole chopped turnip, one whole leek, and 3-4 medium sized carrots.  If you like other veggies more, substitute!  Put 12 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable to make it a vegetarian dish) into a pot and bring it to a boil.  Add the vegetables and one third of a cup of barley, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes gently.

While the vegetables are simmering, trim and chop one and a half pounds of brussels sprouts.  Peel off the outer leaves if they are looking a little droopy and cut off the tough bottom part where it was attached to the stalk.  Add the brussels sprouts to the pot and allow to simmer for 30 more minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.  Melt a quarter of a cup of butter in a sauce pan.  Whisk in a half of a cup of flour until it is a smooth paste type of a goo.  Add it to the soup and simmer until it's thickened, 10 - 15 minutes.  Take a spatula and smush the flour and butter into the pot if it's not melting easily.

Yep that's a pot of thick soup right there.  But you can sort of see how thick it gets in that picture!

The greens and oranges offset the creamy color and make it look pretty!  It is delicious, filling, and fairly healthy, and I got probably 8 full meals out of one pot of soup!  Make this one night when you're watching TV (may I suggest The Big Bang Theory or Downton Abbey?)  Oh and while we're on the subject of Downton Abbey, this blog series from Bon Appetit is amazing!  If you're in a current state of hibernation, this will keep you occupied for awhile!

Brussels Sprout and Barley Soup
12 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 whole turnip
1 leek
3-4 medium carrots
1 handful of green beans
1/3 cup barley
1 1/2 pounds of brussels sprouts
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup salt


  1. Those are my two favorite things to eat! I have got to make this!

  2. It's so yummy and it freezes really well! Thanks :)