Papa Wolfe Soup


This soup is ideal for when the weather turns frigid and your house feels cold inside. Because it’s what I call an all-day soup, I knock out another time-consuming task while it cooks (like laundry). There are three stages to preparing this which also means the pot doesn’t have to be watched every second.

Though inspired by Wynelle Stein’s Mother Wolff Soup from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant collective, we reimagined it with low-glycemic vegetables. Using Barley as an alternative to rice lowers the glycemic index from about 70 to 28. Barley also absorbs five times its weight in water and because of this, boil with dry lima beans for about an hour adding water or broth as needed. This infuses the lima beans and barley with a pleasant dilly-garlic flavor. You may also soak them overnight.

By browning each of the vegetables, the flavor is multiplied. Serve as a meal or with sandwiches. It warms the house and heart and soul.


4 quarts water
1/2 C. dried lima beans, soaked 8 hours with water to cover
1/2 C. barley, uncooked
3 – 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. dill weed
1 bay leaf

1 C. celery, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2-3 long carrots, diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp. Pink Himalayan or Kosher salt
A few pinches black pepper


1 C. green beans (fresh or frozen)
1 C. peas (fresh or frozen)

2 medium tomatoes chopped (about 1 C.)
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley (optional)


In a 4-quart stock pot, add barley, dill, garlic, lima beans, and bay leaf to water, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on lower heat, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Because beans and barley will absorb a lot of broth, add more as needed.

In the meantime, prep the veggies.
Using a deep heavy skillet, sauté carrots in 2 tablespoons oil until browned.
Sprinkle in paprika and red pepper.
Add onions and celery in salt, pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until browned.
Stir in the green beans and peas and cover. Turn off heat. Set aside.

Stir soup and remove the bay leaf. Add all the sautéed vegetables, chopped
tomatoes, and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. While covered, simmer
on low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve in wide shallow bowls with rye bread, or crisps, and dill pickles. Leftovers will keep up to a week stored in the fridge. Add water or broth if the soup becomes too thick. Makes 8-10 hearty servings.

Did you try it? We’d love to know your thoughts. We welcome your comments.

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