FFWD – Vegetable Barley Quinoa Soup with the Taste of Little India


My little brother is a mean, mean man. He’s a chef, working at the sort of locavore, casual-to-fine-dining restaurant that you know I love. The problem is that it’s 50 kilometres away and Sean sends me photos of what’s on the night’s menu, when he knows there’s no hope of me booking a car and heading out deep into the heart of the Fraser Valley. Like I said, mean.

If you don’t believe me, here’s one of the photos he sent me tonight.

Photo by Chef Sean.
Photo by Chef Sean.

Yes, that’s a perfect Caprese staring back at you. Sigh…

Luckily, we have a delicious, vegan soup on our own fresh sheet tonight, keeping me from becoming too morose. It’s flavoured with garam masala, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. It’s also meant to have barley in it, but we went gluten-free and used quinoa instead. It’s the sort of meal Kevin has been working toward, as he eats vegetarian or vegan most of the time now. There’s lots of protein in the quinoa and the soup itself is surprisingly hearty. Meatless meals have always been a big part of my diet, but I might find myself crumbling some bacon on tomorrow’s leftovers, as my brother the chef suggested. Then again, I might not – this soup doesn’t really need it.

Soup too

Judge for yourself. You can find the recipe here, along with interviews with three of our most lovely Doristas.

And you can find out what everyone else thought of this week’s recipe here.


27 thoughts on “FFWD – Vegetable Barley Quinoa Soup with the Taste of Little India

  1. The quinoa sounds like a great substitution. I think I would have enjoyed that even though I’m not GF. I wish I had a sibling who could cook. My sister is on the opposite side of the spectrum than your brother. I guess I should be glad she doesn’t send me photos of whatever it is she is making.

  2. Quinoa is a good sub for barley! I’ll have to suggest it to my bestie, who has recently had to go GF per her Dr. 🙂

    This was a pretty good one, and *sigh*… miss a good caprese, “mean” Chef Sean indeed! ;P

  3. Teresa, I have yet to cook with quinoa – I stared at it in my favorite health food store the other day and I noticed there were quite a few different kinds, including red quinoa – I must say that I am intrigued – so, all I have to do is buy some and prepare s.th. delicious with it. Your soup looks wonderful with that quinoa, the warm colors and lots of veg, perfect!
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Quinoa is a great substitution and I wish I had thought of it since I have quinoa and had to go hunting for barley. Its not on the shelf at the supermarket here but we found it at the health food store. Did I miss a blog redesign? It looks really good Teresa. Your brother is mean and I hope you were mean right back, sending him a picture of your lovely soup!

    1. It was very warming, especially after getting caught in a downpour while working on this year’s veggie garden!

      He’s a real artist, isn’t he?

  5. I like both quinoa and barley so either in this soup would work for me. Quinoa is a good thought for next time. I actually doubled the barley because I wanted the soup to be more substantial. Your bowl of the soup looks delicious. As does your bro’s Caprese. Yeah, mean. When I was at the farmer’s market this week-end, I bought some homemade mozzarella and tomatoes exactly the size of those in the picture. I have parsley on hand and a really good olive oil. Tomorrow for lunch, I am going to try to duplicate that picture. If it looks at all decent, I will send it to you. Fun, huh?

  6. I hope you sent a photo of your delicious soup back to your brother! What a great idea to use quinoa. Your soup looks so good!

  7. We eat meatless meals 4-5 night a week, and I agree that this soup made an excellent meatless entree. The photo of the caprese has me drooling, though. I can hardly wait until tomatoes are back in season.

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