Barley Soup with Red Beans Corn and Sage

Prep Time
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"Adapted from: Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen. Cookbook notes: Barley is a thirsty, thirsty grain. It can drink up to around four times its volume in water--or the soup liquid--so I strongly suggest a two-hour soak before cooking so that you end up with soup rather than a barley dish. Of course you can always thin a thickened soup with water, but flavor is lost when you do that. If you don't have time for a soak, at least cover your barley with hot water while you prep everything to give it a head start. Posted for the You Want What?! recipe posting game."

Original recipe yields 10 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (150.9 g)
  • Calories 160.3
  • Total Fat - 9.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 10 mg
  • Sodium - 832.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 11 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.2 g
  • Sugars - 4.6 g
  • Protein - 9.8 g
  • Calcium - 46.1 mg
  • Iron - 2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 6.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

If you haven't soaked it, cover the barley with hot water before you start prepping the soup for vegetables.

Step 2

Melt the butter with the oil, bay leaves, and sage in a wide soup pot.

Step 3

Add the onion and carrot, stir, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the onion begins to take on some color.

Step 4

Add the garlic and chopped parsley, then work in the tomato paste.

Step 5

Drain the barley; add it to the pot with 2 quarts water or stock and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Step 6

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, then cover and cook until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

Step 7

Meanwhile, shuck the corn and slice off the top halves of the kernels. Reversing your knife to the dull edge, press out the milk from the cobs. Set aside corn kernels and corn milk.

Step 8

When barley is tender add reserved corn and beans to soup. Heat through, taste once or more for salt, and serve with fresh minced parsley.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.