Ingredients (with variations so that it can be vegetarian or vegan):
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 quarts (8 cups) beef, chicken or vegetable broth
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 turnips or potatoes, diced
1 cup barley (not quick-cooking)
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp thyme
1 29-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas and/or corn
1 cup fresh or frozen lima or green beans
1 cup greens (Swiss chard, spinach, Napa cabbage, etc)
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly golden. Stir in broth, carrots, celery, turnips or potatoes, barley, and any other hard vegetables preferred. Add celery seed and thyme.
Simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in tomatoes, peas or corn, beans and greens.
Simmer for another 15-20 minutes before serving.
Option: Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Variations: Any kind of preferred vegetable can be added or substituted. 1.5 cups soup pasta can be added along with the tomatoes, etc, as can 1-2 cups shredded/cubed cooked beef or ham.