This refreshing light cream soup is chock-full of yummy flavors! I was inspired to add the barely for fiber and substance, and the low-fat coconut milk is a tasty change. Super easy to make. The flavor is refreshing, too!
- 3/4 cup barley
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, cut into slivers and divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 dashes ground nutmeg
- 7 cups chopped broccoli florets and stalks
- 3 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 (14 ounce) can reduced-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese (optional)
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Bring the barley and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir the onion and celery into the melted butter, place a cover on the pot, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add about half the garlic. Season with the black pepper, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and nutmeg. Return the cover to the pot and cook another 5 minutes.
Stir the broccoli, vegetable stock, and remaining garlic into the mixture and bring to a boil. Return the cover to the pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook another 15 minutes, stirring once. Remove the pot from heat.
Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold the blender lid with a folded kitchen towel and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can puree the soup with a stick blender directly in the pot.
Return the soup to medium-low heat. Stir the coconut milk, 2% milk, and barley into the pureed soup; cover and cook until hot, 5 to 8 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with Asiago cheese and parsley to serve.