Beet, Barley and Black Bean Soup

If you are craving a hearty vegetable soup that also contains the recommended balance of grains and beans for a healthy vegetarian meal, consider your desire satisfied. Delightful slices of beetroot, plump kernels of whole barley and tender black beans are enveloped by a purple broth flavoured with tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar and a good handful of fresh dill.

This recipe is originally vegan and adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance. I liked Ashley's idea of substituting black beans for the soybeans and added some chunks of feta to the steaming bowl of nourishment for some cheesy goodness. It's rather like the ever popular Russian Borscht albeit with a unique and satisfying twist.

This is my contribution to this month's Eating with the Seasons hosted by dear Maninas.
Beet, Barley and Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of dried tarragon
freshly cracked black pepper
8 cups of water
2 large beets, cut into slices
3/4 cup of barley
1/4 cup of tamari sauce
3/4 cup of dried black beans
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup of crumbled feta, optional

Soak the barley in enough water to cover overnight. Drain and set aside.

Soak the beans in enough water to cover overnight. Drain, transfer to a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer until the beans are tender - about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion to the pot and stir and fry until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, tarragon, black pepper and saute for another minute or two. Now add the water, beets, barley and tamari sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the barley is tender - about 40 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 10 minutes or so. To finish, add the balsamic vinegar and fresh dill. Serve in bowls with some crumbled feta if desired.

Yields 6-8 servings.

Related and recommended:
Creamy Beet Borscht
Beetroot Soup with Kidney Beans


Grabmale said...

Hey Lisa,

I'm actually not vegetarian, but I have a new girlfriend who doesn't eat meet. I love to cook for my friends, especially for woman so now I'm looking for vegetarian recipes now.
This soup looks really good. Is it just for entry or enough for an whole meal? (My girlfriends isn't a big eater, anyway)

Lisa said...

It is filling enough to serve as a meal in itself, especially considering how balanced it is nutritionally. However, it would also make a nice starter soup for a meal. Thanks for stopping by my site.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo adding feta is a great idea

Usha said...

Hey Lisa, this is such a delightful and nutritious combination ! I tried your curried black eyed peas recently and loved it,just thought I would let you know that....

Barbara said...

It's minus 40 here today. This soup is awesome, delicious and flavourful. Would definitely make this again and again.