Pantry Soup with Caramelized Onions, Barley, and Kale

Pantry Soup with Caramelized Onions, Barley, and Kale

Author Notes: I love this warming soup, perfect for cold, wintry evenings and easy to make with pantry staples. Adding the wine and pepper in two parts gives the soup a richer flavor with more depth - some of the volatile aromatic compounds in wine and spices are lost over longer periods of cooking. girlwiththegreenhair

Serves: 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 2 anchovy fillets)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons herbes de provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine, divided
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 bunch kale, destemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesian cheese
In This Recipe


  1. Warm oil in large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cover, and turn heat down to low. Cook 20-30 minutes until golden and sticky. (Covering keeps the steam in so you don't need to stir constantly, but check on them every so often.)
  2. Add tomato paste and anchovy paste, mixing well with onions. Add sliced carrots, bay leaf, herbes de provence, salt, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. stirring to coat vegetables with the spices until aromatic.
  3. Turn up heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup white wine and stir until incorporated, then add vegetable stock and barley. Bring to a low boil, then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until barley and carrots are nearly done, 20-25 minutes. Add kale and the remaining wine and black pepper. Simmer another 5-10 minutes until the vegetables and barley are finished. Add salt to taste if desired.
  4. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesian cheese.

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