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Collegiette Eats: The Perfect Winter Soup


Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.


For my last breakfast at school before heading home, I had waffles. I topped two Nature’s Path Flax Plus Frozen Waffles with a peanut butter yogurt spread. To make the spread, I stirred together 1/3 cup honey-flavored Chobani Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon of natural butter and some cinnamon. After spreading it on the waffles, I sprinkled more cinnamon and drizzled honey on top.


My flight was delayed, so I had some time to kill at the airport. I found a sit-down diner-eqsue restaurant where I could get lunch and do some reading (aka scroll my Facebook and Instagram news feeds). I ordered a turkey burger with caramelized onions. I ate it open face (sans the top half of the bun) and ordered a side salad. 


For my first home-cooked meal, I had a big bowl of my mom’s vegetable barley soup. She makes this soup every winter—it’s really thick and hearty, and it's the perfect meal or snack to warm you up on a cold day. It’s especially good when you’re not feeling well. I may even say its healing powers are on par with chicken noodle soup.

I had my mom give me the recipe so you can see for yourself. It takes about 10 minutes of active prep, and then you just let it sit on the stove for an hour and a half and it’s good to go! She said the recipe makes enough for about 10 bowls, so you can make it and have a week’s worth of food to keep in the fridge. I know I’ll be making a batch when I get back to school.

Vegetable Barley Soup


  • 2 qts. vegetable or chicken stock  
  • 1 cup uncooked barley (rinse it first in a strainer)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (coat bottom of soup pot)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 package fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 bay leaves (if you don’t have them that’s okay)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. Worcester sauce


  1. Roughly chop garlic, onions, carrots and celery in food processor. In soup pot, sauté vegetables in olive oil for about five minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, sauté for another 3+ minutes and stir around.
  3. Add broth and remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Enjoy! 


  • The soup will be thick; you can adjust by adding more broth or less barley.
  • Take out bay leaves (if you have used them) before serving.
  • You can add a can of cannelli beans, which I do, just add two cups more liquid because the beans will thicken the soup.

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