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We’ve jazzed up this wholesome soup with chopped vegetables and a touch of cayenne pepper.
Mix barley with lentils and peas in a bowl and set aside. Do not soak. Place beans in a large bowl. Generously cover with cold water Let soak overnight. Or to quick-soak, place beans in a large saucepan and generously cover with water. Bring to a full rolling boil, uncovered, over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let soak for about 1 hour. Then drain beans.
In a large saucepan, combine garlic, onions, carrots and celery. (If you like crunchy vegetables in your soup, set aside half of the carrots and celery to add near end of cooking.) Pour 1 cup bouillon over vegetable mixture. Then, bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium high heat.
Meanwhile, place barley mixture in a sieve, rinse under cold running water and drain. Add to saucepan along with remaining bouillon, tomatoes and their juice, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne and drained beans. Break up tomatoes with a fork. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often until beans are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Stir in any reserved vegetables and chopped sweet pepper. Taste and add more thyme, if you like. Continue simmering until pepper is hot, about 5 minutes. The stir in parsley. Taste and add additional seasonings or a squeeze of lemon juice, if needed. Serve this soup with whole grain bread and a salad for a satisfying winter meal. Covered and refrigerated, soup will keep well for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month.
9.7 g protein, 1.4 g fat, 24.8 g carb., 2.6 mg iron, 57 mg calcium, 146 calories
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