Are you ready for the final home stretch—6 more days till Christmas. David and I spent the afternoon at a little mall—the one I thought wouldn’t have anyone there—so we could get some craft supplies. Big mistake—it’s a mad house out there! And the rest of my week will continue to be—rushing here and there (to too many fun things to count), with 2 sets of plans for every day until Christmas when I think I will finally stop to catch my breath.
Our plans include the Christmas Eve service at our church. I love to go every year and sing songs, to be reminded of the birth of Jesus and what all of the celebration is about, to visit with friends, and sing Silent Night with candles lit as we close. It brings Christmas back into focus and afterwards I’m ready for a cozy night at home doing a hodge podge of Christmas Eve traditions—wrapping presents for the boys, watching Harold and Kumar’s Christmas with Irving, and leaving out cookies for Santa (I’ve got a recipe coming for you in just a few days!).
^^^ This picture is from 2 years ago—I love David’s sweet little profile, intently watching the candle in front of him.
The timing of our service has us returning home right at dinner time, and it’s always a rush to get the kids fed before bedtime. This year I’ve planned ahead and have a big pot of my Barley Minestrone soup in the freezer just waiting for us! Perhaps you’d like to make some too?
My barley minestrone, based on my White Beans and Greens, is filled with hearty Italian sausage, white beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions and kale! It’s healthy, filling, warm and comforting! It’s the perfect meal after a busy day. It’s just as delicious fresh off the stove as it is re-warmed in the microwave so you can’t go wrong. And it is perfect to pair with my Maple Dinner Rolls (use the aquafaba from the beans in this soup to make the rolls)! I hope you have a chance to make my soup! If you do, take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag it with #frieddandelions!
Barley Minestrone Soup for Christmas Eve
- 2 T olive oil divided
- 4 Italian veggie sausages I like Field Roast
- 1 large onion diced
- 2-3 large carrots diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 T nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 t oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 c water
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes or use diced, or a combination of diced and crushed
- 1 c pearled barley cooked separately in 3 c salted water not drained*
- 2 c white beans one can—save your aquafaba!
- 2 c loosely packed greens chopped and stems removed (kale, chard, etc.)
- Prepare barely according to package directions—essentially bring 3 c water to a boil, add 1 c barley, return to boil, reduce to simmer and add salt (1 t) and cover. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the soup.
- Pour 1 T of olive oil into a large soup pot. Heat over medium heat. Dice the sausages and place them in the pot. Stir frequently until all sides of sausage cubes are browned. Remove the sausage and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
- Add 1 T of olive oil to the pan with the sausage scrapings still on the bottom. Add the onion and sauté until softened (4-5 minutes). Add carrots and sauté a minute longer. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add nutritional yeast, salt, oregano and pepper and stir well. Place bay leaves in pot and add crushed tomatoes and water, starting with just a little to deglaze the pot, and then adding the rest. Add in half of the beans and bring to a boil. This will help the beans to break down into a creamy broth, while the reserved beans will provide a nice texture.
- Once the carrots are tender, add the barley (and any remaining cooking water) and the remaining beans. Add the greens and allow them to wilt into the soup. Remove bay leaves. Serve in bowls with diced sausage on top. Yum!