When our kids were watching the Peanuts holiday shows, my 4 year old got Charlie Brown’s name a little wrong and said he wanted to watch that “Charlie Barley Show”. It sort of stuck and that’s now one of my son’s sometimes-nicknames. I saw the 7 bean and barley mix in the bulk foods aisle at Henry’s market and, of course, had to get it. The boys were cracking up about me making Charlie Barley Soup.
I started with about a pound of 7 bean and barley mix. It looks like about 2 1/2 – 3 cups from the bulk bin. I rinsed the mix several times and left it to soak overnight.
The next afternoon, I chopped 2 small onions, 3 cloves of garlic and 4 ribs of celery. I sweated these with a little salt for 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Then I added the beans, 2 bay leaves, 4 cups of water, and 4 cups of beef stock . A good vegetarian option is vegetable stock or just all water. I brought it back to a boil and let simmer for 3 hours.
A half hour before it was done, I added 4 peeled and sliced carrots and one small potato, shredded (like hash brown size). The potato thickens the soup and totally disappears by the end of cooking. 15 minutes before it was done, I added 3 coarsely chopped zucchini and 4 sliced mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s a bowl of Charlie Barley Soup. Delicious!
So the whole thing was about 3 bucks and it would easily serve 4. I hear it cooks well in the crock-pot. I’ll try that next time.