Meatless Monday: 17 Bean and Barley Soup
In the beginning of January, we got a little snow storm. By most standards, it was barely more than a dusting, but for this area of the country, it was a blizzard. The city was shut down for nearly a week which was perfect for me since I was battling both bronchitis and a sinus infection. While most people were getting cabin fever, I was enjoying the forced time off, and the only thing productive I did the entire week was cook. And cook. And cook. It was fantastic, and so was this soup. Even though the temperatures are now in the 70’s here, I am still dreaming of this hearty, flavorful soup.
17 Bean and Barley Soup
1 cup dry 17 Bean & Barley Mix (Trader Joe’s or similar)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
15 ounces diced tomatoes, no salt added
In a large saucepan, cover dried beans with triple their volume of cold water. Bring water to a boil, then lower heat and cook uncovered beans over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and soak beans for 1 hour. Alternatively, you may soak the beans overnight in a large pot of water. Once beans are prepped, rinse and drain.
While beans are draining in a colander in the sink, add olive oil to the pot and heat over medium. Cook onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Add beans, broth, seasonings, and tomatoes to the pot. Simmer covered for about 1 hour to desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste.