Today’s recipe is a St. Patrick’s Day nod to our Irish brothers and sisters and their traditions of hearty and healthy soups and stews made with fresh seasonal vegetables. It’s no coincidence the green, white, and orange colors of the Irish flag make an appearance here!
Ayurveda calls this time of year just before kapha season, from late winter to around March 20, Shirshir Ritu. It is the perfect time to shift our diets to stay in balance with what is to come in spring—heaviness and wetness that may as weight gain, lethargy, congestion, feelings of depression or melancholy, and more.
Barley soup is warm and nourishing but not too wet due to its affinity for producing a healthy diuretic effect on kapha dosha. Barley is a hearty, budget-friendly whole grain that provides healthy fiber and protein. However, as a member of the wheat family, it does contain gluten. You can substitute it with short-grain brown rice or leave out the grains entirely and simply enjoy the Irish flavors of this vegetable soup.
Enjoy this traditional Irish soup —an easy yet satisfying dinner.
RECIPE: Irish Vegetable Barley Soup
1 medium carrot diced
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1/2 cup of green peas
1 leek halved and thinly sliced crosswise
2 Tbsps ghee or other oil for cooking
3/4 cup pearled barley
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock or 1 low-sodium vegan bouillon cube + 4 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Add the ghee, carrots, onions, peas, leeks, and celery to a large pot. Cover and cook over medium heat, 7 minutes, until the veggies are sweating.
- When the onions are translucent, add the barley, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, and vegetable stock.
- Cover and simmer until barley is tender, 25–30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Remove thyme branches (the leaves should have fallen off by now). Stir in the parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Feel free to make your soup heartier by additional traditional Irish vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli.