Barley is a grain that often appears in stews, thanks to its sturdy texture and the natural creaminess it lends to broth. It's typically paired with beef for a classic Beef and Barley Stew, but swapping the traditional protein for shrimp offers a lighter, yet still satisfying option. Sweet potato adds some body and texture, and a nice dose of garlic keeps things flavorful. Fresh shrimp, bright green spinach and lemon are added at the last minute so that they don't overcook. It's a brightly flavored dish with plenty of body, making it a soup for all seasons. Serve with a salad and crusty bread to make it a hearty meal.
When buying barley for this recipe, we recommend seeking out the pearled variety. It cooks in less time, preventing the other ingredients from turning to mush, and has a nice, not-too-chewy texture. Score!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion (diced)
- 2 celery ribs (diced)
- 1 large carrot (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and small diced)
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 5 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 pound small (raw shrimp, peeled)
- 3 cups fresh spinach (packed)
- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, barley and chicken broth, and stir. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until barley is tender.
- Add the shrimp, spinach, lemon juice and zest. Bring back to a simmer, cover and turn off the heat.
- Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||6 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||11 g|