never fail vegetable barley soup (perfect for pre/post fast)

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Today I spent my Sunday reflecting & prepping
Woke up to a sad & some truly disturbing news feed..
Words of hatred & ignorance in Israel, senseless death of a talented young man,
a verdict that is hard to swallow
Today the worlds tension along with my own is more tangible than ever
And it’s long bony fingers are tightening its hold on my psyche
The reminder that it is the 9 days & T’sha Bav is near..
Stronger than it has been the last week.
So …
I cooked & as I chopped, diced & sautéed
Gave my mind the calm time to reflect…
And prep for the day to come.
Wishing you all an easy fast.

(never fail) Vegetable Barley Soup

This soup is hearty and perfect for a pre or post fast meal. The key to making this soup is allowing to slow cook on the stove top for 2.5-3 hours on a low temp.

Ingredients:
1 large onion,diced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 pint button mushrooms, sliced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. oregano
Kosher salt to taste
1 1/2 -2 cups of barley (depending on how thick you like your soup to be)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz tomato sauce
10-12 cups water

Directions:
In a large soup pot, sauté the onions in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 8-10 minutes.
Then add all your chopped vegetables and spices to the onions, and mix well. Cover pot and let vegetables cook for about another 10 minutes (add another 1 tbsp. oil if you feel like the veggies are still to dry after mixing with the onions).
Uncover pot and add the crushed tomatoes & the tomato sauce. Re-cover pot, raise flame and bring the sauce to a low boil.
Add the barley and the water to the pot, cover and lower flame and cook for about 2.5 hrs on stove top.
Check on soup periodically, mixing with wooden spoon.
Serve with warm crusty bread.

****note: when rewarming the soup you might need to add more water to loosen up the barley and vegetables that have been sitting in your pot soaking up all the liquid.