Nov 20, 2013

Tomato soup with barley

...and all I had was those two sleeping tomato cans. Miracles do happen!

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa
time: 40 min

  • 28 oz (800 g, 2 small cans or one big one) can tomatoes, crushed 
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium/large onions, chopped
  • 2 large garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 4 cups (900 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup barley + water + 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Grilled cheese croutons*

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook on medium/low heat for 15 min, stirring occasionally and not allowing change in color. Add garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add saffron, tomatoes, boiling water, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile...fill a medium pot with water, bring to boil, add 2 teaspoons of salt, add barley and cook on medium heat for 7 minutes. Drain barley and add to the soup that has been cooking for 8 minutes (out of 15). Cook the dish for another 10 minutes. Correct seasoning. Pour into bowls and top it with these fantastic croutons.
*Grilled cheese croutons
Prepare slices of bread. Spread butter on both sides. Put a couple of slices of your favorite cheese. Make sandwiches and grill till cheese is melted.

  • onions, garlic and tomatoes make this a very lively soup;
  • no taste of can tomatoes;
  • it's not creamy like a baby soup;
  • all these exciting bites of veggies and barley are there to enjoy;
  • the croutons with their homey texture and taste complement sweetness/sourness of tomatoes;
  • in short, the soup is exquisite;
  • thank you again, Mrs. Garten.


  1. I've just recently gotten into using barley more in my kitchen - and I'm totally hooked now! This soup sounds delicious - perfect for the cooler weather this time of the year!

  2. Isn't it great? Such a hardy and chewy grain. And yes, the soup did warm up us up on this cold and wet day. Thanks, Ashley :))

  3. Anonymous11/21/2013

    Barley, into tomato soup, nice suprise ! I'll try it. Thanks. by the way, " gray apron" looks and sounds peacefull.

  4. This healthy soup looks mighty good! A great combination.



  5. Hi Kasia, you know, we liked it much more than with rice. Barely stays firm in the soup, unlike rice. And thanks for your feedback about the site...much needed. xoxo

  6. Thanks Rosa! The soup was truly exciting and I don't even care about tomato soups that much :)

  7. I love this tomato soup:)

  8. Anonymous11/21/2013

    simply comfort tomato soup!
    i love making a asian dessert with barley but never try making a savoury dish with it,
    tempting to try!

    1. I would like to try a barley dessert! The grain is sweet in itself, must be fantastic. Thanks you :))

  9. Tomato soup is my favorite so this looks like such a warning meal!

  10. Hi Pamela, if you like tomato soups, you gonna love this one! :))

  11. I just made a simple tomato soup for the lunch :-) but with some leftover quinoa. Gotta try it with barley next time.

    1. Can I say that I'm gonna try some leftover quinoa next time..:))?