This soup has a wonderful, mellow flavor! Prior to adding the barley, I pureed half the soup as my family doesn't care for vegetable "chunks". I also made a quadruple batch of this for a Soup Supper at church. It was a big hit. Thanks!
More info 10/08: Can't tell you how many times I've made this soup and always, always get positive comments from young and old alike from simple and sophisicated palates. My advice: don't add any extra flavors such as basil. Resist the temptation! I also thought it would be good, and luckily just modified a small amount of the pot. The results made for a different soup entirely. The only thing that I've changed is to omit the water and substitute all chicken broth (low sodium is best)
I do agree that drastically changing the recipe makes it hard to rate what is written for the original, however, I often find it helpful to read what others have tried, and sometimes substituted in a pinch. In my opinion, please keep sharing. That's part of why I come to allrecipes.
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This soup has a wonderful, mellow flavor! Prior to adding the barley, I pureed half the soup...