Yogurt Barley Soup with Walnut Pesto
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add 1 tsp. garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt; continue sautéing until onion becomes very soft, about 5 to 8 min. longer.
- Add sautéed mixture to barley mixture; cover and simmer over very low heat about 10 min. to meld flavors.
- 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.
- To serve, whisk yogurt into hot soup until completely blended. Season to taste with black pepper. Add a heaping tsp. pesto to each serving.