Healthy recipe: Bean & barley soup

Yield: 4 servings, 2 1/2 cups each

Servings: 4

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

To Make Ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe Description:

This hearty bean and barley soup tastes like it has simmered for hours but it’s actually quite quick to throw together and freezes beautifully. If you have cooked barley on hand, omit the quick-cooking barley and stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked barley along with the broth in Step 2.

Recipe Ingredients:

1. 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2. 1 large onion, chopped

3. 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped

4. 5 cloves garlic, minced

5. 1 teaspoon dried basil

6. 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed

7. 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

8. 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

9. 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley

10. 1 5-ounce package baby spinach (6 cups)

11. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

12. 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Recipe Steps:

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic and basil; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Mash 1/2 cup of the beans. Stir the mashed and whole beans, tomatoes, broth and barley into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and pepper.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 323 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 13 g fiber; 767 mg sodium; 795 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (98% daily value), Vitamin C (67% dv), Folate (28% dv), Potassium (23% dv), Calcium (20% dv), Iron (18% dv).

3 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 2 starch, 3 vegetable, 1 fat, 1 lean meat logo