Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Minestrone Verde with Barley

Our favorite lunch is soup and salad. I like it because it means I cook once and we have lunch for four days. My husband enjoys it because he likes soup of all kinds. There is something warm and comforting about soup that seems to be universally appealing.

Today’s soup is a green minestrone. I like to play with the color in soup so today I added nothing but green and white items to my soup. Barley was included to give the soup a little extra body and fiber. This soup is light in calories but big in nutrition. Each serving of this soup contains over 13,000 IU’s of Vitamin A, 125 mg’s of Vitamin C, 265 mg’s of calcium, 120 mcg’s of folate and 620 mcg’s of Vitamin K to name a few.

There are a few serving options for this soup. Today I had the soup with dandelion green and walnut pesto on top. However, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil would be fabulous, or a little gremolata, or a drizzle of chive oil, basil oil, lemon oil or lemon juice would also work. I tend to change the toppings during the week so the soup tastes a little different each time we eat it.

Minestrone Verde with Barley
Serves 8


1 cup of white beans, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon of canola oil
2 leek, trimmed and sliced into thin half moons
5 stalks of celery, finely diced including leaves
3 turnips, cut into ¼ inch dice
turnip greens, finely cut (approximately 3 cups)
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ cup hulled barley
3 bay leaves
water to cover soup vegetables
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 zucchini, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 bunch of kale, finely cut (approximately 8 cups)


Drain your soaked beans and rinse them well.

Sauté the leek, and celery in the canola oil until the vegetables are soft. Add the beans, turnips, turnip greens, garlic, barley, bay leaves and water to cover and simmer until the beans are soft and the barley is cooked. When the beans are soft add the remaining ingredients and cook until the kale has wilted.

Cool and refrigerate until needed. This will last for at least 4 days in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 236.82
Calories From Fat (11%) - 25.86

Total Fat - 2.98g
Saturated Fat - 0.35g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 603.06mg
Potassium - 1308.28mg
Total Carbohydrates - 44.88g
Fiber - 10.78g
Sugar - 5.62g
Protein - 11.88g


When the weather is starting to turn cooler I tend to think of minestrone. There are as many versions of minestrone as there are of vegetable soup. Add a green salad and a chunk of crusty whole wheat bread and this soup makes a hearty and healthy dinner.


  1. This looks so delicious & healthy. A perfect autumn soup.

  2. Jennyjen,

    Thanks. This recipe makes a huge amount of soup. I used an 8 quart pot and it was 80% full while cooking. In case you are cooking for one I wanted to make certain you knew.


  3. hey(me again) i was going to ask if you ever used essential oils in your cooking. and then i saw this, is basil oil just olive oil flavored with basil or is it like lemon oil and made purely from basil?

  4. Michelle,

    I do make infused oils. Basil oil is basil in olive oil but there is a little more to it than that. You need to blanch the basil quickly and then shock it so it stays green before you make the oil. I will make some tomorrow and post the recipe so you have all the details. Let me know which other oils you are interested in and I will make them when I can and post the recipes.



Related Posts with Thumbnails