Food & Wine

Toasted Barley Soup with Swedish Meatballs

The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Sept. 30 will feature information on the 70th birthday of Old Bay seasoning plus ideas on how to use it in dips and appetizers. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Toasted Barley Soup with Swedish Meatballs

Start to finish: 25 minutes (10 minutes active)

Servings: 4


1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup quick-cooking barley

2 1/4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1 1/2 cups diced carrots

1 1/2 cups diced zucchini

1/2 pound frozen, cooked Swedish meatballs

1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill

2 1/4 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream


In a large saucepan over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the barley and stir until it is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Add the broth, carrots, zucchini, meatballs, dill and water. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover the pot and cook over medium-low until the barley is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve each bowl of soup topped with a tablespoon of sour cream.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 286 calories; 81 calories from fat; 9 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 18 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 8 g fiber; 371 mg sodium.

Note: This Scandinavian-style toasted barley soup with Swedish meatballs is filled with vegetables and whole grains, and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Toasting the quick-cooking barley gives it a nutty flavor that becomes central to this soup.

To complete the meal, serve with a salad of spicy greens and crusty whole-grain bread.