Squash, Kohlrabi and Barley Soup

 

This soup is truly the child of the CSA. In opening the refrigerator and seeing piles upon piles of squash, along with a couple heads of kohlrabi, I knew I had to do something with them before they started going bad on me. In remembering that I had barley in the cupboard and that it was amazing in soup last winter, I decided to go ahead and make soup once more. I was also motivated by having a large pot of food to come home to and be able to sit and eat without putting a lot of effort into (working in the pharmacy is wearing me down!). Plus, the days are slowly getting colder here in Buffalo as we descend sadly into winter, and having a bowl of hearty soup is one of the most enjoyable things ever.

I started by cooking the barley. While I love this grain, I don’t enjoy the smell of it cooking to much. But that’s okay, but it is totally worth it when it comes together in the soup. While the barley was cooking, I started cutting my vegetables, included 1 small onion and 1 minced clove of garlic,  2 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, 1 cubed kohlrabi, and one diced kabocha squash. The kabocha squash goes wonderful in the soup because it gets amazingly soft and the skin is edible.

 

Then, I sauted the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, and then added the veggies, followed y the vegetable stock and barley. I threw in some salt and pepper, a dash of cinnamon, and some fresh parsley and basil from our herb pot. It all smelled wonderful together, and looked great too!

Altogether, this soup was fantastic. It was warm and filling, and had a great variety of flavors and colors. The carrots, squash and celery all got unbelievably soft, while the kohlrabi maintained just enough of a firmness to resemble a potato. The squash was the perfectly sweet and essentially melted in your mouth, while the barley was tasty, chewy and hearty.

The next day we, of course, had leftover soup for dinner. We had to add a little bit more water as the barley had continued to absorb some of it over night (which can probably be avoided by soaking the barley for a couple of hours beforehand), and then to spice things up a little bit we threw in some chili powder and a package of Boca TVP crumbles. It was awesome like this too! I love versatile things like this, especially when I get a couple of meals out of them too!

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