This blog contains several references to my complete inability to estimate portion size. Tonight, that ability led me to make a rather large pot of fall vegetable and barley soup. Yes, I know, it's not really fall yet, and one of the vegetables was zucchini, which is pretty much a summer vegetable, but the others were distinctly autumnal.
Here's the problem: I'm quite tired of tomato-based broths, which I've been making exclusively because canned tomatoes are cheap and can be used for many sorts of dishes. It's time to suck it up and buy some dried porcinis (with which I can make savory, subtle mushroom broths) or vegetable broth (because making my own is, in this case, too time-consuming and unnecessarily vegetable-consuming).
Or I could make different isoforms of all these soups, which are inevitably low on liquid and heavy on veggies anyway. I could have roasted the onions, carrots, garlic, zucchini, and squash in a little olive oil, plus maybe some of the beets I have in the fridge for good measure, and tossed them with pre-cooked, toasted barley. I could have kept the zucchini and carrots and onions raw (well, soaked the onions in cold water to make them a little more subtle) and tossed them with cold cooked barley, za'atar, olives, cucumber, and feta (I don't have any tomatoes, but heck, there are about five fruit carts within a five-minute walking radius). The possibilities are endless. So no more soup for me, or at least, not until it's so cold that soup is actually merited.
Barley is a delicious, delicious grain, I have to say.