- 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 4 small red potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen baby lima beans
- 2 plum tomatoes—halved, seeded and diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or farmer cheese (6 1/2 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a large saucepan, combine the stock with the barley, potatoes, bay leaves and cumin and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the barley begins to soften, about 15 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until they begin to brown, 7 minutes.
- Add the lima beans, onion and garlic to the barley and simmer until the barley and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer until piping hot, about 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the cheese and parsley and serve.