Soup-e-Jo (Persian Barley Soup)
- ½ cup Barley Pearls (jo-e poost kandeh جو پوست كنده) (soaked in advance for 1-2 hours)
- 2 cups Water
- 3 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 small Carrots (not pictured) (grated)
- ½ cup Half and Half or Heavy Cream for a richer soup
- Celery (1 stalk)
- 1 medium Onion (diced)
- 1 medium Potato (grated)
- Mushrooms (1 ½ cups)
- 1 Lime
- 2-3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- Cilantro a small bunch or handful. * (I only had parsley on hand so I used that instead)
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Soak the barley pearls at least 1-2 hours ahead in some water. I usually do this the night before. It makes the cooking process much faster.
- Dice Onion
- Dice Celery
- Grate Carrots
- Grate Potato
- If using fresh Cilantro or Parsley, wash and chop to use
- Juice the lime
- Clean and chop the mushrooms
In a pan, boil the pre-soaked barley pearls in water and let cook for about 20-25 minutes. If you have not presoaked the barley in advance, you will have to add more water and cook until the barley is tender (my guess is that this will take a good 40 minutes at least).
Meanwhile, in another pan, heat the vegetable oil and sauté the diced onions and celery. Once translucent, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.
Once the barley is cooked, add the chicken stock, and all the ingredients from the other pan to the barley. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Personally, I like to make this soup a little on the saltier and spicier side. At this time, you can also add the grated potato and grated carrots. OPTIONAL: To add a bit of color, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste and for added heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Let the mixture come to a boil on medium heat. Add the milk and make sure to stir while letting the soup reduce and become thicker. Once the soup has thickened, add the Half and Half (or Heavy Cream) and cilantro and stir for another 5-10 minutes. Finally add the lime juice, stir, and serve.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Noosheh jaan نوش جان (Bon appetit)!