Spinach-Corn-Barley Soup with Garlic Bread

The weather has been so chill right from the time I woke up this morning. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed with a nice book and some popcorn! I decided to make something hot and yummy for dinner. And so, after the rich moong daal halwa yesterday, I thought it was time for something healthy. Hubby and I decided to skip dinner and just have some barley soup. I dug into my refrigerator and found some spinach and corn and decided to use these with the barley.

For those who dont know about barley, it is a type of whole grain. The benefits of barley are many! It contains high levels of dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and selenium (a type of antioxidant). It also helps lower blood LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Barley also helps stabilize blood glucose levels, which may benefit people with Diabetes.

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Ingredients for Soup:

  • Barley seeds – 4 tbsps (coarsely powdered)
  • Spinach – 1 bunch (washed, dried and finely chopped)
  • Baby Corn – 1 cup (chopped into thin rings) (I normally use shelled american sweet corn kernels, but today, since I dint have any, Im using baby corn)
  • Garlic – 2-3 pods (or to taste)
  • Water – 2 to 3 cups
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Serves: 4 persons

Method:

I recommend using a flat, non-stick pan (slightly deep) to prepare this soup because the barley can get very messy otherwise.

  • Boil the coarse powdered barley with 2-3 cups of water on a low flame. Since barley has a starchy composition, the result is a thick and starchy, milky liquid.
  • In the meanwhile, cook the baby corn (or american sweet corn) with salt, drain water and keep aside.
  • To the barley-water mixture, add the finely chopped spinach and salt. Continue to cook on a low flame till the spinach is cooked.
  • Add the cooked baby corn and pepper powder. Allow to boil on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes. You may want to add some warm water to adjust the consistency of the soup.
  • Remove from flame and serve hot with choice of sauces and/or accompaniments like garlic bread. I made some garlic bread to go with the soup…perfect for a winter night :-D

You could try this barley soup with other veggies too!

Ingredients for the Garlic Bread:

  • French bread loaf – 1 long loaf or 2-3 small ones (like the ones they use for hotdogs)
  • Butter – 50 gms (softened, to make spreading on the bread easy)
  • Garlic pods – 5-6 (pounded or crushed to a paste)
  • Oregano herbs – 1/2 tsp
  • Cilantro/Coriander (optional) – a small fistful (finely chopped)
  • Grated Mozzarella Cheese (if you’re in an indulgent mood :)) – 3 to 4 tbsps

I dint add any cheese to my garlic bread since it would make my dinner too rich.

Method:

  • Slit the french bread horizontally and keep aside.
  • Now, mix together the rest of the ingredients except the cheese (if you are using some) to get your spread ready.
  • Apply the spread on each cut slice of the bread.
  • If you are using cheese, sprinkle some on the bread once you have applied the spread on the bread.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 deg C (390 deg F) for about 6-8 minutes or until each slice is toasted to a light and crisp golden yellow. The time needed for the garlic bread to get done varies in each microwave oven since each has a different power. Adjust the time according to your oven.
  • Allow to stand for a minute before you take them out of the oven and enjoy the hot and crisp garlic bread.

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