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.
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
How to Make It
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.
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.