Nov 8, 2013



Growing up, one of my favorite winter meals was my mom's homemade beef and barley soup. It was a rich and delicious meal for cold nights, and I have fond memories of family dinners around steaming soup bowls. It's one of the few things I truly miss as a vegetarian.

Beef and barley soup instilled an early love of hearty grains, and come the cold nights of late autumn I start to crave the nutty toothsomeness of barley, wheat berries, and farro. This recipe, for barley and harvest vegetables, is perfect for taking advantage of autumn's harvest. Rich olive oil, crisp roasted kale, and sweet roasted carrots make for a hearty fall or winter meal.


Preparation time - 10 minutes
Cook time - 30 minutes
Serves two generously

1/2 cup instant brown rice
1 cup barley
3 cups water
Olive oil
Medium bunch kale
1 medium yellow onion
1 large carrot
Freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Set the oven to 425 F.

Dice the onion and carrot. Coat in olive oil and mix with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the mixture onto a baking sheet and put into the oven. 

In a medium pot combine the rice and barley. Add the water and place on high heat on the stove. When it begins to boil turn the heat to low, add a dash of olive oil (about 1/2 tablespoon), and set a timer for 20 minutes.

Remove the kale leaves from the ribs and tear the leaves into 1/4-1/2 in pieces. Coat in olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper. When the timer goes off stir the vegetables and add the kale to the pan. Also stir the barley. Reset the timer for ten minutes.

When the timer goes off again, remove the barley from the stove and take the vegetables out of the oven. Drain any excess water from the barley, and combine the vegetables and the grains in a large bowl, stirring to mix. Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. I recommend serving with a bit of freshly grated parmesan on top.