Easy Slow-Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup
This is the season I like to take it slow. Life doesn’t slow down, but the cooking does. Instead of chopping loads of fresh vegetables from the local market I use my favorite frozen ones and add them to the slow-cooker. It is an easy approach to the delicious soups and stews to keep us warm during the busy, cold days of January.
This particular soup has become a recent favorite of ours. I’ve been making it a lot and tweaking it just a little bit every time. The premise is that I use a very basic mirepoix of onion and garlic, then add in tomatoes, an array of our favorite frozen vegetables, and a starch of choice. In this case I used barley, but I’ve also used rice, couscous, and noodles in the past.
No matter how you make it tastes delightful and is perfect for warming up after a long, chilly day. I tend to prepare it all in the morning when the children are getting ready for school. Then I switch on the slow-cooker and let the gentle aroma of warm soup fill the kitchen all day long. In the evening I serve our meal with some crackers and cheese, or maybe just a crusty baguette for dipping. It makes for an easy winter meal that is loved by all.
Tip: For thicker soup reduce the vegetable broth to 5 cups. For thinner soup, add more vegetable broth in ¼ cup increments as needed.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 10-ounce bag Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Multi-colored carrots
- 1 cup Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen Peas
- ½ cup Cascadian Farm Organic Frozen corn
- ½ cup barley
- In a skillet over medium heat warm the olive oil. Then add the onion and sauté over medium heat, or until the onions have softened. About 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and seasonings and stir for another minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Turn off the heat and transfer this mixture to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and turn the slow-cooker on to Low heat and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Or, turn cook on High for 4 hours.
- Serve with good cheese and crackers, or baguette slices for dipping.