I made up a pot of this soup tonight for dinner 4/23/13 and it was delicious. My husband Anthony, my Mom & I all enjoyed the unique flavor of having sweet potato added into this veggie soup. I've always loved barley added into a recipe because of it's nutty flavor and chewy texture.
I did make a few changes to this recipe and the one most important is check the soup at about 3 hours and determine if it has cooked long enough for your liking. For me, at 3 hours it was cooked to perfection. Some may want to cook it to the allotted time.
This recipe is from my Ninja Cookbook.
Drizzle oil into pot and set on STOVETOP HIGH. Heat oil for several minutes, then add celery & onion to pot. Cook them uncovered 10 minutes or until veggies are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Then stir in your minced garlic & cook uncovered 2 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in your potatoes, spices, tomatoes & barley. Set to SLOW COOK HIGH FOR 4 TO 5 hours. Cover pot and cook until the barley & potatoes are tender.
(The recipe in cookbook states to cook 4 to 5 hours but my soup was perfectly cooked at 3 hours. When I reheated it the next day and cooked it for another 45 minutes it was more the consistency of a thick stew instead of soup. So, for me I like it better at 3 hours but it's all in how you prefer your soup. I would watch it after 3 hour mark and determine what you want to do.)
Serve up a bowl and sit down and enjoy.
I served bacon wraps with this soup and they are so easy to make. Here is recipe. You can click on the link and it will take you to it. https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/appetizer/meat-appetizer/bacon-wraps.html?p=27
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