Cold weather makes me want to snuggle up on the sofa with some of my books, biscuits and mug of tea or hot chocolate! Alas, over the past weeks this was not possible! The hot chocolate and biscuit part I mean.
Winter makes us pile on the pounds so easily that you barely notice! Cold weather is conducive to eating as this makes us feel warmer!
Warming up however does not necessarily mean fatty food, so here is a low carb, low GI recipe. Barley soup can be prepared ahead of time and heated in portions which is very handy for mid-week meals.
Barley is mostly produced for the agricultural industry but is also used for malting and is a key ingredient in beer and whiskey production. Barley has a fibrous inedible outer hull which needs to be removed before it can be eaten. Once this is removed, the grain still has its bran and germs, and hence is still considered a whole grain. Pearl barley or pearled barley is hulled barley which has been processed further to remove the bran.
Barley also has a low Glycemic Index (GI) which means that it has a low effect on the blood sugar levels after consumption.
This is what you need to make enough soup for 4 portions.
2 medium onions,
2 medium carrots,
2 slices of bacon,
1 chicken cube,
Cut the vegetables into cubes, preferably of the same size. Place the onion in a pot and cook it over low heat adding a tablespoon of water so that the onion does not stick to the pot. Once the onions start to cook, add bacon which also needs to be cut into cubes. Add another tablespoon or more of water if required.
Next add the carrots and marrows. Now add enough water to cover the vegetables. Add the stock cube and bring to the boil. Now add barley and mix until it the soup starts to return back to boiling. This will avoid your barley from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the heat off.
Allow the soup to set for a further 30 minutes at least so that the barley may absorb the liquid.
Make sure that the barley you are using is not a quick-cook barley. If this is the case, keep an eye on the soup once the barley is added as it will be ready in 10-15 mins.