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.
Food Network Kitchens Making it Easy, Meredith, 2004
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