"Designer soups," as Jordon Carroll calls chef-inspired pureed soups, often have lots of added butter and cream. She prefers old-fashioned ones like this mushroom-barley, which gets its flavor from good-quality beef stock.
Zucchini and Spinach Soup with Barley, Coriander and Watercress
Chef Justin Cogley of Aubergine in Carmel, CA adds barley to this lovely, delicate, spring-like soup, which makes it hearty but not heavy.
Barley Soup with Scotch
The idea for this hearty, risotto-style soup came to Frederic Morin while he was sitting on a combine in his uncle's barley field. He could smell the peat from the neighboring farm, which reminded him of Scotch whisky.
Mushroom Barley Soup with Mini Meatballs
Grace Parisi has always been a fan of mushroom barley soup with beef that has been simmered until succulent. For a clever shortcut that still delivers deep flavor, she replaces the beef with meatballs made from a quick mix of sirloin, egg, bread crumbs and cheese.
Spicy Grain Soup
Based on a brothy tortilla soup, this fiery, substantial soup is full of nutty-tasting barley, brown rice and bulgur, creating a dish that's high in fiber. Mary Ellen Diaz says it's one of the most popular recipes she makes for First Slice's soup kitchen. "Latin flavors do well on the street," she explains.