Thursday, March 5, 2009

Barley Soup

Barley is one of the oldest cereal grains, being one of the main foods of the Greeks. Make sure you soak it for at least 7 hours before using it or the results will be difficult to digest. You might not notice the difficulties, but research shows that the nutrients in Barley are much more available if you pre soak it.

Cool news if you have cholesterol issues - barley reduced serum cholesterol levels by as much as 15% in hypercholesterolemic persons in 2 studies cited by Rosemary K. Newman of Montana State university. Why?:
  1. It contains betaglucans and other viscous soluble fiber components which reduce absorption of fats and cholesterol. (Oats also contain these betaglucans.)
  2. Fiber tends to bind to bile acids, which are removed from the body rather than recycled, thus requiring the conversion of more cholesterol to bile acids.
  3. Contains fat-soluble antioxidants related to vitamin E called tocotrienols that reduce cholesterol syntesis in the liver.
From James F. Scheer Health Freedom News

Beef Barley Soup

prep: 25 min ~ Cooking time: 1 1/4 Hours ~ Servings: 6

12 oz beef or lamb stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 T cooking oil (olive oil!!)
4 C water
1 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery (1 stalk)
1/2 C pre-soaked barley
2 t Non-MSG instant beef bouillon
1 t oregano or basil
1/4 t black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 14 1/2 - oz can diced tomatoes (I just used my prefozen tomatoes from the garden)
1 cup parsnips in 1/2 inch slices or peeled potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes

1. Brown meat in hot oil. Stir in the water, onion, celery, barley, bouillon, oregano, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour for beef or 45 min for lamb.
2. Stir in frozen veggies, undrained tomatoes, and parsnips. Return to boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 min. discard bay leaf.

This was definitely a hit with the whole family. Quite yummy.

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