Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups soup and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)

This is an especially nutritious soup because barley adds another source of soluble fiber. This recipe quick-soaks the beans, but you can soak the beans overnight, if you wish. Pureeing some of the beans adds extra body to the soup.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans. Wipe pan dry with a paper towel.

Step 2

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, parsley, celery, carrot, and basil; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans, 9 cups water, vegetable broth, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaves.

Step 3

Place 3/4 cup beans and 3/4 cup cooking liquid in a blender; process until smooth. Return pureed bean mixture to pan. Stir in barley, salt, pepper, and hot sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until barley is done. Ladle soup into individual bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

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