Hearty Bean and Barley Soup with Rosemary Bread

By Jennifer

Hearty Bean and Barley Soup with Rosemary Bread

The soup is my adaptation of an old either Cooking Light or Eating Well recipe, can’t remember which, but it’s great, and freezes well, too, so if you’ve got a big enough pot, make a double batch and freeze half for another day.

This dinner serves 4 – 6, depending on the size of the people and their appetites.

Hearty Bean and Barley Soup

  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, at least a few inches long
  • 2 15.5-oz. cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup barley
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Steeping the broth with rosemary, garlic and red pepper

In a large stockpot combine the broth, red pepper, garlic and rosemary, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let the broth simmer for about 15 minutes.

Mashing one cup of kidney beans

While the broth is simmering, take 1 cup of the beans and mash them in a small bowl, using a fork.  Strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl or another pot and set aside.

Carrots, celery and onion in the pot

Heat the olive oil in the original stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for about 4 – 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Everything but the spinach is in

Add the broth, tomatoes and their juice, barley and the beans, both mashed and whole.  Bring everything to a boil and then reduce to medium-low, simmering for 20 – 25 minutes, until the barley is almost tender.

Adding the spinach

Add the spinach and black pepper to taste, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Soup is ready

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top and with the Rosemary Bread.

Dinner is ready

(Pretty much all soups taste better after they’ve sat a bit;  if you choose to make this soup ahead, and you find at serving time that the barley’s soaked up most of the broth, just add a little broth or water when you reheat it.)

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