Barley Soup With Hearty Greens
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 7 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water
- About 2 pounds hearty greens
- Put the oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
- When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the barley and cook, stirring constantly to coat every grain in the fat, until it starts to toast and stick to the pot, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid bubbles steadily.
- Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley is almost tender but still with a tiny bit of crunch, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add up to 1 cup water if the soup looks too dry.
- Separate the leaves of the greens from the stems using a knife or shears.
- Keep the leaves and stems separate and roughly chop both.
- When the barley is just tender, turn the heat to medium-high, uncover the pot, and add the stems.
- Bring the soup to a boil, add the leaves, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily again.
- Cover and cook until the barley is fully tender but not mushy and the greens are bright colored and tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Taste, adjust the seasoning, add another 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil, and serve.