My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Friday, October 2, 2009

Barley Minestrone Soup

The weather this week has definitely taken a turn towards fall. The temps are in the 50’s and it’s been rainy the past few days. I’m so sad; I don’t want our great summer to end! However, I am one to try to embrace things with happiness, so I took advantage of the colder weather and made soup.

Jessica Chapman, a writer for The Hot Dish on City, was recently looking for a vegetarian minestrone recipe so I sent her my favorite one from Fine Cooking magazine. After sending it to her, I realized I had all the ingredients in my fridge (and yes, I had half a head of cabbage from my last cabbage dish).

This soup is awesome, especially if you use the rind (or a piece) of Parmesan cheese while the soup is simmering. All the vegetables are able to shine through and flavor the broth. Plus, all those vegetables have varying textures and shapes to make you feel satisfied after eating.

I’ve adapted it from the original non-vegetarian recipe. Be sure you use an awesome broth for this. If you can’t make your own, find your favorite at the store. My favorite veggie broth is Kitchen Basics because of the low-sodium content and rich flavor. I find it at Byerly’s. For this recipe, we tried Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n bouillon cubes. It was very good, but a bit on the salty side, so I didn’t season with any additional salt.

Barley Minestrone
(6 servings)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped Savoy cabbage
1 cup diced onion
1 cup sliced carrot
¼ cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, sliced
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-inch piece of Parmesan cheese rind
1 cup quick cooking barley
1 (14.5 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups fresh kidney beans)
Kosher salt
Freshly grated black pepper

Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, undrained tomatoes, rosemary and Parmesan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add barley and stir to combine, and continue cooking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until barley is tender. Discard rosemary and Parmesan and add the kidney beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

This post is a contribution to Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays!


  1. Exactly what we needed with the drop in temps...this soup is for sure a winner. Great as leftovers too!

  2. I was thinking of making a soup tonight too. I agree that cold weather is perfect for soups and stews. This one looks awesome! I'm definitely adding it to my recipes.

  3. In-season cabbage! Lots of super foods in this recipe - would you consider linking this post to the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods at Kitchen Stewardship next Thursday? More details here:


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