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Bean and Barley Soup

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.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried borlotti or pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 308
  • caloriesfromfat 16 %
  • fat 5.4 g
  • satfat 1.1 g
  • monofat 2.9 g
  • polyfat 0.8 g
  • protein 14.6 g
  • carbohydrate 52.6 g
  • fiber 12.5 g
  • cholesterol 2 mg
  • iron 4.4 mg
  • sodium 676 mg
  • calcium 154 mg

How to Make It

  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.

  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.

  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.