Yogurt Barley Soup with Walnut Pesto

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy of California Walnuts
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Main Ingredient: Nuts, Dairy
Menu Part: Soup
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 6 servings

Offering a few soups-of-the-day appeals to the grab-and-go lunch crowd. Many fast-casual restaurants set out kettles for customers to help themselves, choosing from varying container sizes. This robust barley soup can stand on its own or be paired with a salad or sandwich. 

Ingredients

1 cup pearl barley
4 cups water
1 1/2  tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. cooking oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. minced or crushed garlic, divided
1 cup walnuts
1 cup firmly packed cilantro sprigs
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
Black pepper, to taste

Steps

  1. Combine barley, water and 1/2 tsp. salt in med.-large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook until barley is tender, about 45 min.
  2. Meanwhile, heat med. skillet over med. heat for 1 min. Add cooking oil; swirl to coat pan. Add onion and cumin; sauté 5 min. or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add 1 tsp. garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt; continue sautéing until onion becomes very soft, about 5 to 8 min. longer.
  4. Add sautéed mixture to barley mixture; cover and simmer over very low heat about 10 min. to meld flavors.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare pesto: In bowl of food processor, grind walnuts until they form coarse meal. Add ½ tsp. garlic, cilantro and 1/2 tsp. salt; process until it forms a uniform green paste. While machine is running, drizzle in olive oil until combined.
  6. To serve, whisk yogurt into hot soup until completely blended. Season to taste with black pepper. Add a heaping tsp. pesto to each serving.