Mmm Mmm Good ~ soup IS good food!

I could live every single day with soup as my lunch.  I really LOVE soup. 

The ones I enjoy the most, of course, are homemade -- or ones that taste like it!    At home I often make soup and usually freeze a few bowls for later.  I always prepare soup when somebody is sick as well.  Thankfully my husband knows how to make great soup and he has made it for me many times when I'm ill.  It always makes me feel comforted.

 Yesterday when I woke up I started a pot of soup since I was home working all day (on church and coaching work) but the fact that I'm home allows me to watch something that's simmering on the stove, which is helpful.  The night before I had soaked a cup of red beans knowing I wanted soup the next day.  If you are going to cook bean soup, always remember to soak the beans overnight.  Here was yesterday's soup if you want to re-create it yourself.  It was so delicious, and it's very healthy.

Bean and Barley Soup

Soak a small package of red beans overnight in a few cups of cold water.

Start a teakettle of water to boil.

Chop one onion and two carrots.  Saute in stock pot in a few tablespoons of Olive Oil.  

Once you have sauteed the veggies for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stir in a teaspoon of crushed garlic.  (If you don't have fresh garlic, just sprinkle in some garlic powder.  But I highly recommend keeping a jar of refrigerated garlic - crushed or paste, on hand for everyday cooking.  I use it most nights when I'm cooking and it's very good for you!)

 To the mixture in the stock pot add about 2 quarts of boiling water from the tea kettle.   Stir. 

Drain beans that are soaking in water, and add them to mixture in pot.  Too all this mixture, add 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste. 

Add 1 packet of ham boullion seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4/ tsp cumin, very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper, and 1 bay leaf.  Then add 1 tsp more olive oil.  Turn on low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

While you are simmering  for 30 minutes, peel and chop 3 medium size potatoes.  Keep in cold water til  ready to use.   When timer goes off after 30 minutes, drain potatoes and put them in soup mixture.  Add 1/4 cup of pearl barley.  Keep soup on low simmering for a few hours.  I usually cook for about 3 before it is ready to eat and beans are soft enough.  If the soup gets too thick as it's cooking just add a little more boiling water.  I usually add 1/3 cup here or there when it gets too thick but I am needing the beans to soften up and keep cooking down. 

Even though this contains ham boullion, I still consider it a vegetarian soup as it contains no meat, just seasoning that gives a little pork flavor without the actual meat.  These are actual photos of my soup yesterday, above.  Looks pretty good, huh?

 Next, my friends, later on this week I am going to teach you how to make southern style green beans that taste just like grandma's home cooking, but without the fat!  Imagine that!   Excellent recipe for those who are diabetic, have heart issues, etc., but want all the flavor minus the danger!  Stay tuned...


Ruth, PA said…
On this 25* day in PA, I'm making this for dinner! Thanks, Deanna!!
Leanne said…
Soup is a Christmas Eve tradition in my family, and I had been trying to figure out what kind to make this year...

That looks really good - I'm not a ham person at all, though...I think I may experiment and use chicken boullion instead [maybe add a little leftover Thanksgiving turkey, too]!!!
The older I am becoming, I found I love soup too! My mother-in-law is here with us for Christmas and she made us a big pot of Potatoe soup yesterday! It was so yummy!

Thanks for the receipe! I'll have her make that next!

Love you!