Tobarnut Soup is Tomato, Barley, and Butternut Squash Soup.
[I should have posted this weeks ago! Oops!]
We had some tomatoes that were accumulating from our farm share, despite the fact that there has been a terrible blight that has affected the tomatoes in our area this season. Somehow, farmer Rich has managed to get us a variety of tomatoes, including some lovely heirloom tomatoes which we really enjoyed. I had about four large tomatoes (three red and one yellowy-orange) and two small yellow tomatoes, so I was plotting a tomato soup. When the butternut squash arrived this week alongside a few of the large tomatoes, I started imagining putting the two together. I’ve got a great creamy tomato soup recipe
that I’m sure I’ll post here one day that I finally got around to posting, but for now, I’ve decided to combine tomatoes, roasted butternut squash, and barley for another slow cooker soup.
It may seem like our house is overrun with soup these days, but I like to put the soup in little individual containers and put them in the freezer. We’ve also had pretty much the entire household with some kind of cough and sniffles, though we’re not sure if it’s allergies or what. Either way, soup has been a very welcome meal.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons flour
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup barley
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 cup light cream or milk (optional)
1/4 cup or so grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper
Cut butternut squash lengthwise and place face up on a lightly greased baking sheet. Roast the butternut squash in a 400 degree oven for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the size and shape of your squash) or until soft enough to scoop.
Let cool, then scoop out the part with the seeds and discard. Remove the skin. Mash the flesh, either with a fork, a potato masher, or a blender.
I’ve made this soup twice now, and the first time I made it where I blended the tomatoes before they went in, and the second time I didn’t. If you want a very smooth soup, you should do this, but otherwise, don’t worry about it – being in a slow cooker will break it down a bunch.
Toss the olive oil, onions, and flour together in the bottom of the slowcooker. Ideally, you’d do this in a medium sized pot, heating the oil on medium heat, then adding the onions, cooking for about 3-5 minutes or until soft, then adding the flour, stirring constantly, cooking about one minute, not allowing it to brown. But, since this is a slowcooker, and I was in a hurry and didn’t want to wash another pot, I just threw it all in and it worked out just fine.
Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. Pour the chopped (or blended) tomatoes over the onion mixture and stir well. Add the mashed butternut squash. Stir well.
Stir the barley, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, and parsley in. Add a bit of salt and pepper, but you may need more later.
Set the slow cooker to “low” and check on it in about 5-6 hours.
When the barley is soft, probably after about 6 hours in the slow cooker, be sure to remove the bay leaf, then add the parmesan cheese (optional). Add the milk or cream*, if desired, and stir. Taste to adjust for more salt and pepper if needed.
*The barley tends to soak up a lot of liquid even once the soup is done cooking, so for my freezer portions, I omitted the milk, and I’ll add it back when I heat the soup.