We made this soup from the recipe on the box. It was great. The key I'm finding in brothy soups is to - get this - use good broth. I sort of made my own in this case with vegan bullion cubes.
Ditalini Soup1 onion, diced
2 cloves sliced garlic
olive oil for your pan
3 quarts of broth (you could even use more than this if you want)
3/4 cup of barley
1 cup ditalini pasta - or any small pasta shape
2-3 carrots, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium potato, peeled, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice (alternative apple cider vinegar or any acid)
optional toppings - Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast
I petite diced all my veggies. It's important to try and make them all about the same size. It cooks more evenly and I think is easier to eat this way.
Cook garlic & onion for about 3 minutes in olive oil. Use a heavy pot or your favorite soup pot. Add the broth and barley and simmer with no lid for 30 minutes. Then add the veggies and salt/pepper to taste. Cook on medium/high for about 6 more minutes (2/3 of the traditional cooking time for whatever pasta shape you're using). Then turn off the heat and let sit on the stove (no lid) for 20 more minutes. The pasta will absorb some more liquid. Taste and add lemon juice and any more salt if needed.
It was fabulous. Starchy but fabulous. Eat with hearty bread.
Some alternatives I'll change for next time: add a handful or two of spinach in the last 6 minutes, some diced tomatoes, some diced zucchini perhaps. I'd like to even up all the veggies and downsize the barley for a little healthier dinner. I googled this and of course came up with tons of different variations. Ones with beans, tomato sauce, chicken, or sausage. Basically you're making minestrone. The possibilities are endless.
We gobbled it up and didn't take any photos. Imagine yummy soup here >