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A few years ago I discovered The Prudent Homemaker’s website. I love this site for the huge amount of frugal ideas. Brandy and her family built up food storage when times were good and had it to fall back on when times were not as good. She shares many recipes featuring her food storage plus seasonal menu plans, gardening, sewing, homeschooling and many other frugal living suggestions.
This past winter I made her Barley Soup several times. I’d make it up on a Monday and we would have it to eat for our lunches for the rest of the week. My husband loved taking a hot thermos full of soup for his noon meal compared to whatever leftovers he could find in the fridge.
To make my version of this Barley Soup, I first soak 1 cup of barley in 2 cups of water along with 2 tablespoons of acidic medium (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, kombucha, whey, kefir, buttermilk, yogurt, etc) to help neutralize the phytic acid. After 7 or more hours, I drain off the soaking liquid.
Then proceed with the recipe as written. I do usually use fresh vegetables as opposed to dry (I have made it with dried onions and carrots with excellent results), I always use dry parsley since I never have fresh on hand, and I use 8 cups of broth (never bullion) and reduce the water to 8 cups. I use whatever broth I have on hand– chicken, beef, lamb, etc. With the barley pre-soaked it is ready to eat a little bit sooner than the recipe times. I cook only in the water for the 1 hour time and then about 30 to 45 minutes with all of the ingredients together.
You can also add leftover meat (or the meat that comes off the bones when making broth) to this soup but it is not necessary for a satisfying soup. The bone broth and barley combination made a rather rich flavored soup.
We like to serve this with a spoonful of ghee or butter added into each bowl and then the soup topped with a probiotic rich item such as yogurt, sour cream or sauerkraut.
It is still soup season here in Wyoming. If your weather is actually spring where you live be sure to save this soup idea for next winter. It is very good and very inexpensive. A definite keeper for your recipe file. Be sure to check out The Prudent Homemaker for other ideas that can be adapted to a real food diet. Also check out her beautiful pictures. She always makes her food look delicious!
Share your favorite website(s) for frugal recipes. Real food focused or not these can be a huge place for inspiration.