June 7, 2012

15-min Barley & Vegetable Soup

This past weekend I attended a lecture and cooking demo in Dublin, OH by Julieanna Hever and Chef AJ. Julieanna gave an excellent talk aimed at debunking the myths around plant-based cuisine and Chef AJ followed that up with No S-O-S (salt-oil-sugar) cooking demo where she made a couple of excellent soups, a quinoa salad, and also some yummy truffles. For her split pea soup, made from scratch, she used an electric pressure cooker and she set the timer, to just 6 minutes. The soup was superb. That inspired me to use my stove top pressure cooker tonight to make this Barley & Vegetable Protein soup ... and from start to finish - from the moment I turned the stove on .. to when I served it into a bowl, this recipe literally took just 15 minutes. 

Prep Time: 15 min


  1. 1/3 cup Quick Barley (I used Quaker Oats brand)
  2. 1/3 cup TVP crumbles, rinsed
  3. 1/3 cup Split & Skinned Mung dal (green lentils)
  4. 1 large onion, coarsely diced
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely diced
  6. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  7. 1 pk (0.5oz) dried Shiitake mushrooms 
  8. 5-6 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  9. 1/2 tbsp Roasted Cumin powder
  10. 1/2 tbsp Penzey's Sweet Curry Powder (or use Garam Masala, instead)
  11. 1 tsp Roasted Garlic salt
  12. 1 14-oz can No-Sodium Vegetable broth
  13. 2 cups water
  14. 6-8 fresh basil leaves, for garnishing.

Before doing anything else, place 2 cups of water and all the vegetable broth in the pressure cooker and turn  the stove on high to get the water going. Meanwhile rinse barley, TVP, lentils and mushrooms and mix in the broth. Add frozen corn. Dice onions and tomatoes and add to the cooker. Then add all the dry spices (except the salt).  By the time I had everything diced and added in the 2.5 cups of water in the cooker was at a rolling boil. Close the lid, keep the stove on high, and allow the cooker to come to a full steam pressure (about 4-5 minutes). Allow to sit at that pressure for 2 minutes and then turn off the steam. Using a spoon, lift the pressure regulator weight and release all the steam. Make sure to stay away from the gushing steam because it will scald you pretty bad. Once all the steam has been released, open lid immediately and mix. Do a quick taste check for salt, and if needed, sprinkle a small amount. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and serve steaming hot. 

My Assessment: Super quick dinner and a hearty one at that. This soup is so thick and rich and chewy, it didn't need any accompaniments at all. The barley was nice and nutty. The dal and the TVP made its texture creamy and I loved the flavor of shiitake mushrooms. Feel free to add more veggies, as you see fit to adapt this recipe to your taste. I used what I had in the freezer on this Thursday evening!! Lovely dinner ... and leftovers for later! Perfect week night dinner!

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