- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley. Add the vegetable broth, water, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the celery root and parsnips and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderately low heat until the barley and root vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and nutmeg and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve in deep bowls.
Green-apple-scented, balanced Chardonnay.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.