Slow Cooker Bean and Barley Soup
- 1 cup dried multi-bean mix, picked through and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pearled barley
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 leek, light green and white parts rinsed and sliced
- One 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
- Crushed red pepper, for garnish
- Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, for serving
Combine 6 cups of water, the beans, barley, Italian seasoning, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, tomatoes, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and some pepper in a slow cooker insert. Cook on low for 8 hours. When ready to serve, stir in the spinach until it wilts. If the soup looks too thick, add a little more water. Divide evenly among six bowls.
Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, basil, olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar or lemon juice over the top.
Per serving (about 1 1/2 cups): Calories 270; Fat 7 g (Saturated 1.5 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 960 mg; Carbohydrate 42 g; Protein 11 g; Fiber 7 g; Sugars 5 g
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