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We’re moving along with our #30DaysofDairy for June Dairy Month–one new dairy recipe every day for the whole month of June. Make sure to check out our Pinterest contest to share more great dairy recipes and enter to win a fabulous prize!

Today’s recipe comes from the new Dairy Good Cookbook–order your copy today!


Creamy Vegetable Barley Soup


Photos by Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Frank Scibelli may be one of the most respected restaurateurs in Charlotte, North Carolina, but his success hasn’t discouraged him from creating the kind of homey food (such as the recipe for this chunky soup) that he grew up cooking and eating in a food‑loving Italian family. Most vegetable-barley soups are broth-based. The addition of whole milk—slightly thickened with cornstarch—makes this soup heartier.

1 (15‑ounce) can chili beans, undrained
½ cup frozen corn kernels
½ cup medium pearl barley
1 (14.5‑ounce) can fire‑roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14‑ounce) can low‑sodium chicken broth
¼ cup cornstarch
3 cups milk
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine the beans, corn, barley, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a 3 ½ to 5‑quart slow cooker. Pour the broth over all and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

2. Near the end of the cooking time, whisk the cornstarch into the milk. Stir the milk mixture into the slow cooker until well blended. (If the cooker is on low, turn it to high.) Continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes or until the soup has thickened.

3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

TIP: This soup is conveniently made in the slow cooker, so you can get it going then go about your day. If you’d like to make it on the stove (as shown in the photo, opposite), sauté the onion, mushrooms, celery, carrot, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a soup pot for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp‑tender. Stir in the beans, corn, barley, tomatoes, and broth. Cover and cook until the barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch into the milk, then stir into the soup. Let simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the soup is slightly thickened and creamy. Sprinkle each serving with fresh parsley and cheese.

From The Dairy Good Cookbook: Everyday Comfort Food from America’s Dairy Farm Families, Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC