Oh my goodness, what a busy day!! On top of having a cold, I was busy all day doing contract work. While I sat at my computer for hours with glass after glass of hot apple cider and a box of tissues, Zander and his daddy had lots of fun, attending a Christmas party with Zander’s friends in the morning and playing outside in the afternoon. Zander really loves his “new” Kavu vest from the clothing swap, and he insists on putting his hands in the pockets at all times. I don’t know why he does it, but it’s ridiculously cute:
I really missed my little guy today! I’m not used to doing my own thing, so it felt really strange to not know what he was doing at every single moment. But the bonus was that once every couple of hours, Zander would come running in to show me something really cool, like a pack of veggie dogs from the refrigerator, and I’d get a great big hug and a kiss. That was enough to help me pull through.
Because I felt under the weather today and didn’t have time to cook anything fresh, it was especially nice to have leftovers from last night’s huge pot of Vegetable Barley Soup. Below is a photo of Zander’s little hand stirring the pot right after he poured in the collard greens and green beans:
I couldn’t find a recipe for this soup that suited my taste buds just right, so Zander and I sort of winged this one. In addition to being absolutely delicious, it is a very inexpensive meal. Here is how we made it:
VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP
1/2 onion (diced)
4 Tbsp olive oil
approximately 3 quarts (12 cups) Rapunzel vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups barley
1 bay leaf
4 medium potatoes (diced)
4 carrots (sliced)
1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 (16 oz) bag frozen chopped collard greens
1 (10 oz) bag frozen cut green beans
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute the onion in olive oil until tender. Add bay leaf and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Rinse barley and add to boiling broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, until the barley is tender.
Add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the soup. Simmer for about 1 hour until the vegetables are very soft. Add more water if necessary.
Add collard greens and green beans, and simmer for an additional 10-20 minutes, until green beans are tender.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.