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Let's Make Bean and Barley Soup!

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Hearty bean and barley soups are a classically Jewish recipe - they're delicious, filling, and kosher, making them perfect for a Shabbat lunch. This soup is sure to warm you up and keep your stomach full on a cold winter day!


  • dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight, see note*, or 4 (15 ounce) cans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are wilted and tender. Lower heat to medium low and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Do not allow garlic to brown.

2. Rinse and drain beans. Add beans, water, and bay leaf to vegetables in soup pot. Bring to a boil, stir, and lower heat. Simmer soup, uncovered, for one hour. If using canned beans, simmer 20 minutes.

3. Remove bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Alternatively, puree soup in batches in the work bowl of a food processor. (Use caution when processing hot liquids, it is best to wait until the soup cools for this variation of step 3.)

4. Add barley and salt and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.

*To soak beans, rinse well, then place in a bowl with water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and let stand at room temperature at least four hours, preferably overnight. (you may need to add water before serving, as the barley will continue to absorb and thicken soup)

Tags: Recipes

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