Minestrone Barley Soup with Spinach Citrus Salad
Soup and Salad make a great light lunch or dinner. This veggie minestrone soup is a healthy, flavorful meal in itself and it is made even more appealing with this spinach, cucumber and citrus salad topped with nuts!
For the Vegetable Barley Soup:
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup green beans, chopped to 1” lengths
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn
2 T oil or water
8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup barley, uncooked
1 T tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can of beans (aduki, white or red)
1 tsp Italian spice mix (or 1-2 T if using water instead of vegi stock)
2 bay leaves
Sea salt or tamari to taste
4-6 additional cups of water or vegetable stock
For the Spinach Citrus Salad:
1 5 oz bag or large bunch of spinach
2 Clementine oranges, tangerines or tangelo’s, peeled and separated
6 inches cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup purple onion, chopped fine or 1 green onion
1/4 cup slivered almonds or walnut pieces
2-3 Brazil nuts, chopped fine
2-3 T raspberry vinaigrette
For the Soup:
Chop onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and green beans. In a large stock pot or pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until onions are soft. Add all ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add additional water/vegetable stock if soup is too thick. Remove bay leaves and serve.
For the Salad:
Combine spinach, orange slices, cucumber, onion and nuts. Toss. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Any type of bean would work for this soup -- navy, red, Lima, etc.
With about 20 minutes left to cook add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pasta such as elbows, small shells, bow ties, ditalini.
Leftover soup can be frozen for several weeks.