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Lemon Asparagus Barley Soup

A satisfying variation on the Greek lemon chicken soup, avgolemono. It's easily made for vegetarians. The sunny colors will remind you of spring - just when young asparagus begin to come to market. Try it with blanched sugar snap peas or tiny broccoli florets, as well. Remember to add the vegetables just at the end to preserve their fresh, bright green color. Serve the soup hot or at room temperature.


  • 1/3 pound tender, thin asparagus, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups minced onion (about 3 medium onions)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Veggie-Stock Gold® dissolved in 3 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked barley
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


  1. Steam or boil the asparagus until it is crisp-tender. Drain the asparagus, shock it in cold water to stop cooking, blot it dry on paper towels, and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is transparent, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the dilutedVeggie-Stock Gold® and barley, and bring the mixture to a boil. Beat the eggs and lemon juice together in a bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk about a cup and a half of the hot stock into the egg-lemon mixture, beating constantly. Stir the warmed egg mixture into the soup.
  4. Add the asparagus to soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat the soup gently, but do not let liquid boil. Serve at once, sprinkled with the parsley.
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Classic French Stocks and Sauces