Recipe by Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist.
Using whole barley instead of pearl barley means retaining all the fibre and nutrients that are otherwise lost. Also, soaking the barley the night before is necessary to make sure it is digestible.
Heat a 10L pot on the stove top on medium-high heat. Sauté in olive oil, onions, carrots and celery, stirring frequently. When vegetables have begun to brown (about 5 minutes), add tomato paste, allowing it to brown on the bottom of the pan. Stir well.
After a minute or so, add a little water to the pot to keep the tomato paste from burning. Add garlic, barley, salt and pepper.
Pour in enough water so that it reaches 2 inches from the rim of the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and skimming the white foam that will appear at the top of the pot.
Once boiled, turn the pot down to a simmer (low heat). Add oregano and basil. Allow to simmer for an hour or so, stirring and occasionally checking the doneness of the barley. When barley is soft enough, remove pot from heat.
The consistency can be adjusted by adding more water if necessary. Add more salt if needed.