White Bean and Barley Soup white bean barley soup

Serves 4

1 cup cannelini beans, soaked overnight*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large stalks celery and leafy tops, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/2 cup barley (or short grain brown rice)
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Soak beans overnight in filtered water. Discard the water and rinse the beans.

Heat oil in large saucepan; add celery, onion and garlic. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and water, beans, barley, carrots, oregano, and thyme. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Add tomatoes.

Add fresh spinach, fresh parsley, vinegar, and stir again. Continue to simmer on a low temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Per Serving: 383 Calories; 8g Fat (1g Sat); 18g Protein; 64g Carbohydrate; 6g Sugars; 16g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 362mg Sodium.

*For a super quick version of this soup you can used canned beans. If this is the case, reduce the cups of water to 1 cup and reduce simmering time to 40 minutes.