Figs & Lemon

My Culinary Adventures

Mediterranean Barley Soup


So Ramadan has started and this year I’ve decided to keep our iftars light and healthy. However, that didn’t quite happen yesterday. Yesterday, first day of Ramadan, we had a couple of really old family friends over for Iftar. You know what happens when you have guests over for Iftar? You need to pull out the big guns and deep fry every possible thing that can be deep fried! Needless to say, my efforts at being healthy were shoved to the side.

To be honest, I didn’t regret it too much either since the first couple of days of Ramadan you tend to think you’re dying of hunger and that it is absolutely imperative that you shove your face with forty samosas and a jug full of mint chutney. Anyway, today was the second day and I thought “It’s still not too late” and decided to make something healthy for iftar. So I ended up making a super easy Barley soup which had a bit of an Arabic/Mediterranean feel to it and was an instant hit with the rest of the fam dam.


Here’s what you need:

    • Pearl Barley       50gms
    • Celery                  40gms
    • Carrots                40gms
    • Water                   6 cups
    • Vegetable stock cubes    2
    • Spring onion     15 gms
    • Cilantro             handful
    • Mint                  handful
    • Nutmeg powder             1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon powder          1/2 tsp
    • Cumin Powder               1/2 tsp

Start off with washing and soaking the pearl barley for atleast a couple of hours if not overnight. Boil the barley in the 6 cups of water and 2 cubes vegetable stock until the barley is cooked through. Now chop up the celery and carrots in really tiny 2mm cubes, a cut known as brunnoise. I decided to take baby carrots and just slice them up in really thin circles which was not only easier than chopping up regular carrots, but it also gave a nice look to the soup. If you don’t have baby carrots though, you can just use regular carrots. Once the barley is cooked through (or minutes away from being completely cooked) throw in your carrots and celery into the pot. Sprinkle in the nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and cumin powder and let it all cook for 5-10 minutes. Make sure your veggies are cooked slightly but haven’t turned into mush. Turn off the heat, pour out the soup in a bowl, and finish off by adding finely chopped spring onion, cilantro and mint.

Serve…… before the herbs start losing their colour!





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