Golden Sweet Potato Barley Stew
This is one of those soups that I keep coming back to for more. Like most soups, it’s good when you first make it but its REALLY good the second or even third day. All the flavors meld together beautifully and it’s just a solidly delicious soup. We are at the point of the year where everyone who lives where winter exists is pretty much over the cold. We get glimpses of sun and mild temps, but winter isn’t over. We are reminded of that when the temp dips back down below freezing. Insert major side eye.
February was a super busy month over here! We have had events to attend, both work-related and personally, Rhys and I flew to Florida for a few days to visit my parents, and then I was in Boulder, Colorado for one of my best friends bachelorette weekends. Whew! I love being on the go but I’m looking forward to being home for the month of March and getting back into some semblance of a routine. February came and went in the blink of an eye and has left me a little exhausted!
When I get back from a trip or come off a busy stretch in my schedule, I really like to hit the reset button. For me that doesn’t mean get on some super strict plan, it means that I slow down, check in with myself, and focus on nourishment. Right now nourishment feels like simplifying. And that doesn’t just apply to food. When I feel like I have too much to do or too much going on, it can leave me feeling paralyzed. I’m sure we all feel that way at different times. Like we have so much to do and don’t know where to start so we just don’t start. Which then perpetuates a feeling of frustration and sometimes anxiety. It can be a vicious cycle!
Now when I start to feel that way, I simplify. If I have big projects I feel overwhelmed about, I like to make a to-do list and start crossing easy things off. Feeling like I am being productive, even if it’s just with simple things, helps me immensely. Accomplishing the small things makes me feel productive and ready to tackle the bigger things.
So what does all this have to do with soup??
Soup…or stew in this case…is one of my favorite ways to nourish myself with minimal effort. It’s an easy thing to knock off your to-do list. Need something for lunches this week? Or an easy dinner? SOUP. It’s the gift that keeps on giving lol. But seriously though! You make a big batch that last multiple days and meal time just got a whole lot simpler.
Soups and stews are the perfect way to add ingredients that provide energy, fiber, and a slew of other great nutrients, while still tasting delicious and interesting. This stew is the perfect combination of veggies, wholesome fiber-filled starch, plant protein and a comforting broth that is addictively good. I love adding ingredients like ginger and turmeric to soups like this to help fight excess inflammation from traveling and overall stress. And I loooovvee adding ingredients that don’t always sound good to eat on their own, like barley and kale. It’s perfect for the cold days that we are (unfortunately) still experiencing yet still light and bright and ready for spring!
And nothing is better with a delicious stew than easy homemade croutons! Am I right or am I right? I’ve shared this crouton recipe in the past and linked it in the directions for you if you need it!
So whether you are feeling the need to simplify, nourish, and/or just really, really like to make one pot meals that last for days…give this recipe a try! I think you might really love it :)
Golden Sweet Potato Barley Stew
| Serves 6 |
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika
black pepper & sea salt to taste
1 cup uncooked barley, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can lite coconut milk
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 cups chopped kale
In a large deep pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and sweet potato. Sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften.
Add the turmeric, paprika, black pepper, and salt and stir until vegetables are coated and spices start to become slightly fragrant.
Next, add the uncooked barley, vegetable broth, lite coconut milk, and chickpeas. Stir until well combined. Bring soup to a boil, then once boiling, put the lid on and reduce heat to low to simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add the kale and stir until it starts to wilt.
Ladle into bowls and serve. Top with easy homemade croutons (find recipe here) and enjoy!
Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This soup also freezes well, too!