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Hearty Bean and Barley Soup

Photo: Karry Hosford
Yield 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
This satisfying bean and barley soup features a delicious and iron-packed combination of red kidney beans and spinach. It's also high in fiber and calcium.

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 208
  • caloriesfromfat 15 %
  • fat 3.4 g
  • satfat 1.4 g
  • monofat 1.4 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 11.4 g
  • carbohydrate 34 g
  • fiber 8 g
  • cholesterol 5 mg
  • iron 2.3 mg
  • sodium 615 mg
  • calcium 156 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

Cook's Notes

To ensure rich flavor, add garlic and herbs to canned broth for a homemade taste. Mashing a portion of the beans gives the soup extra body.