The average family celebrating Hanukah eats an amazing amount of fried foods during the eight day celebration. Thankfully, not all foods served during the holiday MUST be fried. In fact, why not try this mushroom and barley soup for a change of pace this Hanukah season?

To make the mushroom and barley soup, which is a hearty soup that you can serve throughout the year, you will need the following ingredients:

1 can of chopped tomatoes, with the juice (1 pound can)
2 quarts of water
1 thinly sliced onion
2 diced stalks of celery with the leaves
2 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf parsley that has been chopped
1/2 chopped green pepper, seeds removed
1/2 cup of whole barley
1/2 cup of small dried lima beans
1 sliced carrot
1 pound of sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of fresh snipped dill

Place a large saucepan on the stove. Add the tomatoes – with their juice, water, onion, parsley, celery, green pepper, barley and lima beans to the saucepan. Heat this over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat, cover the saucepan, and allow the soup to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Slice the carrots and mushrooms and add them to the pan followed by the salt and dill. Stir the added ingredients and then place the cover back on the pan. Allow the soup to continue simmering until the carrot slices are tender. This will take approximately 20 minutes.

Taste the soup and add additional seasoning, including dill, if necessary or desired. This soup can be made with dried mushrooms, as well. Some people think the dried mushrooms add a deeper, richer taste than fresh mushrooms. You can also use a meat base – chicken or beef – if your family prefers to have meat in its soup.

The mushroom and barley soup is a nice departure from the fried foods served during Hanukah. It is a soup which has rich flavor and will warm you up both inside and out. It is also a more healthful choice than the latkes and sufganiyot.