Most who try this soup won’t believe that it’s actually completely vegan. But it is, and that’s one of the many aspects that makes this heart-warming soup such a satisfying experience that simply does not get old. It is a blend of a few recipes, but most of all carries a traditional Romanian/Hungarian or more broadly, an old world Eastern European character in both texture and flavour.
If made properly, this soup will thicken to an almost stew-like consistency once cooled, and therefore could almost double its portion size depending how much water you choose to add when reheating the soup each time you serve it to yourself or friends and family. This recipe makes a very generous amount, so don’t be shy to cook in multiple pots and conserve as many reserves are left following the initial serving.
This soup is high in protein, a broad range of vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, so beware: It WILL make you healthier and happier!
Prep Time: Approx. 30 minutes
Cook Time: Between 1-2 hours
Total Time: Between 1.5 and 2.5 hours
Coconut oil or Grapeseed oil (both are safe for high-heat)
Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Mixture (uncooked)
3 cubes vegetable broth (preferably organic)
2 tablespoons country-style Miso (brown)
10-12 cups fresh water
1 cup pearled barley, uncooked
2 packs Yves Canadian veggie bacon, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 ribs celery, chopped
3-4 large carrots, chopped
2-3 bell peppers (orange, red, and green), chopped
8-10 crimini mushrooms, chopped
Any other vegetables desired, 1/2 cup each (kale, zucchini, for example)
1-2 large cans crushed tomatoes (we recommend Thomas brand, sweeter than any other out there)
1-2 tsp freshly ground Himalayan crystal salt
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 handful of each of these fresh-cut herbs: Oregano, Basil, Thyme
4-5 bay leaves
In a large soup pot, sautee the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots and any other vegetables for 5-10 minutes on medium heat in either coconut or grapeseed oil (add mushrooms after the harder vegetables cook for a few minutes).
Add vegetable broth cubes, barley, cooked beans, fresh water, thyme, and all other ingredients and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low.
Allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until barley is soft and somewhat fluffy (if still a bit chewy but soup seems ready, fear not – the barley will fluff out as the soup continues to heat itself). Add fresh-cut herbs basil and oregano, and any other measures of already-included spice to taste and enjoy.