By Dianne Bunis
Spring seems far off with temperatures in the teens and snow flurries. A bowl of homemade soup is soothing and delicious. This low-fat soup is quick and easy to make and can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.
Mushroom barley soup
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
10 ounces sliced white mushrooms (1 package, wash well in cold water)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
1 quart fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms on medium heat until softened. Add dried herbs, barley, broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until barley is tender. If the soup is too thick, add more broth.