Note: This recipe assumes you have some cooked barley ready to use. If you prefer, you can use 1/2 cup of uncooked barley; increase the bouillon to 8 cups. Add the bouillon and barley to the onion-garlic mixture, bring to a a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes; then add the other vegetables and proceed with the recipe.
OR use quick-cooking barley (Quaker brand is widely available). Increase the amount of bouillon to 8 cups, and add 1 cup of quick-cooking barley a few minutes before the green beans and clams.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups bouillon
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 turnip or rutabaga, chopped (1-2 cups – substitute potato is you wish)
1 32-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained, broken up
1 tablespoon oregano
pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 cup cooked barley
4 cups frozen green beans, or fresh beans cut in 1″ pieces
4 cans (6 1/2 ounce) clams with their juice
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrots, celery, turnip (or rutabaga), bouillon, tomatoes, oregano and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and turnip are tender. Add the barley, green beans and clams and cook 5-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley (if using) and serve with ground pepper to taste.
Variation: Add 1 pound shrimp, bite-size pieces of fish filet, or any other seafood or combination of seafoods, to make a hearty seafood chowder-stew.