It's practically summer in Israel compared to what is going on in New York right now! Not that I'm complaining about the good weather, but a little snow (and a snow day from work) would be very welcome. This soup was made with winter in mind- it's a simple hearty soup that is low-maintenance, healthy, and satisfying, especially on a cold night, or in my case, a windy Neve Daniel night. Serve it with some garlic bread and you practically got yourself a meal!
One large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbl dried oregano
1 1/2 Tbl dried basil
2 cans Tomato paste (22x) (this is an Israeli product, Americans will have to use cans of tomato sauce and one small can of tomato paste)
6 empty can-fuls of water, or enough to make it soup consistency
5 Tbl sugar (to taste)
2 Tbl MSG free chicken soup mix (optional but enhances the flavor)
1 cup of barley (I know rice is more traditional but barley makes it heartier and because I used the unprocessed barley it is healthier too)
6 blocks leaf spinach from the bag of frozen (in America its about 1 box frozen leaf spinach), you can also use swiss chard or kale instead of the spinach which is equally delicious. If you are using fresh greens as opposed to frozen add them 15 minutes before the soup is ready to to give them time to wilt.
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the dried herbs and keep cooking until the onions are soft- I find that cooking the herbs with the onion as opposed to just adding them in really enhances their flavor. Add the tomato paste, water, sugar, salt, pepper, chicken soup mix, and some garlic powder and bring to a boil. Add the barley and cook for about 45 minutes until the barley is ready. If it gets too think, add more water and adjust the spices accordingly. Add the spinach about 5 minutes before the soup is done.