Barley, Corn, and Kale Soup
1 cup pearl barley
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth or stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced (divided use)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 10-12 ounce package frozen corn kernels
1 lb washed and cut up fresh kale
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Bring 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan, add the barley and a half-teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook the barley until just tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a soup pot (preferably nonstick). Add one of the diced onions with a half-teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Stir well, then turn the heat to low and put the lid on the pot. Cook slowly for 15 minutes. Then uncover the onions and continue to cook them, stirring occasionally, for another 20 minutes or so. They should be lovely and brown. Add the other diced onion and cook for another 5 minutes (add a little more olive oil if you need it), then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Pour about 2 cups of the broth into the pot and scrape up the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits.
Add the cooked barley plus its cooking liquid to the soup pot, along with the corn and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Then add the rest of the broth. Simmer until the corn is thawed out, then add the kale, a couple of handfuls at a time, and stirring until each addition wilts down. Cook for 15 minutes. Add some water if the soup looks too thick – although the kale should let out enough liquid to keep it from getting pasty. Taste the soup and add another tablespoon of soy sauce if you like, along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.