Monday, 24 June 2013

Barley and Red Beans Soup

I am not really keen on buying cook books, almost all the cook books I have are solely bought on the insistence of my husband; he for some strange reason likes buying cookery books. As far as I am concerned I feel I can get any recipe I want from the blogosphere or even inspiration for that matter. But, the other day when I visited an exhibition in my neighbourhood I found myself buying this book – Antony Worrall Thompson’s GI Diet with Dr. Mabel Blades and Jane Suthering.

GI or Glycemic Index is something that I have at the back of my mind almost all the time since my blood sugar levels turned out to be a wee bit on the higher side. I have now decided to make at least one recipe from this book every other week. I started with this soup as I had barley at home. I have made just a few changes to the recipe to suit my style of cooking (starting from scratch and using as few ready made ingredients like canned beans etc). The proportions I have used in this recipe are enough for one person if you are planning to make a meal of just this soup, else it can serve two people.


¼ cup pearl barley,
½ cup red kidney beans (any beans would actually do),
1 tsp olive oil,
2 tsps chopped onion,
1 small flake of garlic (chopped),
½ tsp dried thyme,
½ litre of chicken stock (I used a Maggi Chicken cube to make this stock :-)),
1 bay leaf,
Salt to taste,
Crushed black pepper to taste,
1 tbsp of chopped coriander


Soak the barley and red kidney beans for about eight hours. Cook them separately adding just salt. I don’t think there should be any issue if you cook them together too, I cooked them separately as I was anyways cooking red kidney beans to make rajma and obviously didn’t want to mix barley in that. On second thoughts it is perhaps a good idea to cook them separately as both of them have different cooking times.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Let them soften without changing colour. Now add the barley with the thyme, bay leaf and the chicken stock. Cook them together for about 10 minutes. Next add the beans and adjust seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the coriander once it cools down a little, you can also add chives or any other herb you wish.