An Assortment of Soups
A recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen
1 C. pearled barley, rinsed & drained
2 C. chopped onions
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 C. beef broth
1 12-oz. can V-8 Picante
1 lb. bag frozen mixed vegetables
10 oz. box frozen green beans
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. each thyme & basil
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can great northern beans
freshly ground black pepper & salt

In a lg. pot sauté garlic & onions over medium heat in oil until onions are transparent. Add mushrooms & continue to sauté until they give up their liquid. Add barley. Stir & cook for about 2 min.,  then add all the herbs, the broth & V-8 Picante juice. 

Bring to boil, then turn heat down, cover & simmer 45 min., stirring occasionally so barley doesn't stick to the bottom.  (For quick cooking barley, cook only 20 minutes.)  As soup cooks & you add ingredients you may want to add more broth. 

Add all frozen vegetables. Bring back to a boil, turn heat down to simmer for another 20 min. or until vegetables are "soup" tender.  Add salt if needed, & plenty of fresh ground pepper.  Add the two cans of beans & cook another 10 or 15 mins.

This serves 6 very large bowls (16 oz. or a little more). Two can eat "as is" once, then take half of what is left & alter to taste. 

Add about 1/3 of a recipe of "Deanna's Dip", 3/4 C. medium salsa, a couple Tbsp. chopped fresh  cilantro, & 1/2 can chopped tomatoes. You'll have vegetable soup with a Mexican twist!

Moroccan food is also wonderful, so the last of the soup can be transformed into a North African tasting concoction by adding 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; 1/2 tsp. cumin/ 1/2 tsp. turmeric; 1/8 tsp. cayenne; 1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika; 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger; 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro; & a little more freshly ground pepper. (Yes, ALL of that!) It may be the best combination of all.

So, enjoy the soup, & enjoying playing with it.