Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hearty Bean and Barley Soup


Abe's trying to go more vegetarian for Lent.  I originally thought he had wanted to go ALL veggie for Lent and was so excited to finally have main dishes that I could eat on a regular basis.  But, alas, he decided that he wouldn't be able to do it full-time and would only do it "as best he could".  Meh.  Well, I'm still doing my veggie recipes.  So there.

Today was one of those unplanned-oh-no-what's-for-dinner? kind of days.  I had plenty of stuff in the fridge, but no idea what to make.  So I threw a few ingredients into the search engine of Cookinglight.com and voila!  I came up with yet another soup recipe.  

It is delicious!  And very filling.  Not to mention healthy.  So, pretty much a trifecta of win for soups.

I made the mistake of not having the quick-cook barely, so I had to cook mine for a lot longer.  If you have it and like a softer barely, soak the barely in a bowl of water overnight.

I got the recipe from Cookinglight.com.

Hearty Bean and Barley Soup
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 cup with 1 tablespoon cheese)

7  cups  fat free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
6  garlic cloves, crushed
2  (4-inch) rosemary sprigs
1  (19-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2  teaspoons  olive oil
1  cup  chopped onion
1  cup  finely chopped carrot
1/4  cup  chopped celery
1  (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1  cup  uncooked quick-cooking barley
10  cup  torn spinach leaves (about 4 ounces)
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes. Drain through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

Measure 1 cup beans, and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Reserve the remaining whole beans.

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery; cook 4 minutes. Add broth mixture, mashed beans, whole beans, tomatoes, and barley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in spinach and black pepper; cook 5 minutes or until barley is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

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