Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bean and Barley Soup

Soup is so easy, it's one of those things you kind of toss together, cook a while and then enjoy with leftovers enough to eat throughout the week or to freeze. If you haven't noticed, we eat a lot of soup 'round here. But this one is my go-to soup recipe for when the fridge is looking sparse or when I don't know what the heck else to cook tonight (which happens more than you think!)

I think this soup gets better the longer it sits, so leftovers the next day are twice as good!


1/4 cup each: dried white beans, black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans

1/2 cup barley
1/4 cup each: chopped celery and carrot
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
2 boxes of vegetable broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 can or jar of stewed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Quick soak your beans: place the beans in a stock pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and cover, boil hard for 2 minutes. Turn heat off and leave covered, let sit at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans, set aside.

Saute the vegetables and spices until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the beans are tender.

Garnish as desired: I topped mine with a handful of fresh spinach and a tablespoon of chili sauce. The kids had theirs with shredded cheddar.

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