Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 celery ribs, rinsed and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
- 3 1/4-inch sliced of ginger, peeled
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 cups water
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (including juice)
- 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
- 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger, and garlic. Saute until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the water, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, potato, and barley. Raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the salt, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Simmer the soup, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until vegetables and barley reach desired tenderness. Remove the ginger, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with fresh herbs if desired.