Wednesday, March 2, 2011

White Bean and Barley Soup.

In my quest to find better and easier food to cook, I found this. It's easy and filling. I also used my crock pot and this was the first thing I cooked in it!

It has a lot depth and a natural earthy flavor that you just can't get from a can.

I did find that the original recipe had issues, esp when it came to the beans. Cooking the beans, actually. I went ahead and followed the directions as per the original recipe and found out an hour before it was suppose to be done, that indeed these so called "chefs" had never cooked beans in a slow cooker and or forgot to mention it would be best to pre-soak them over night. I am not saying you can't cook dried beans in a crock pot because you can and I have before. The problem here is that most beans take longer to cook when you have acidity and salt. I knew better but any ways, I had to cook on high for an extra four hours. So don't make my mistake, pre-soak the beans.


2 small ribs of celery (or one large, two medium) sliced small/medium thickness.
1 medium carrot, cut length wise and sliced
1/4 of a large spanish onion, finely sliced
1/3 of a package of restaurant blend mushrooms ( baby bella, portabella, shiitake,) or about one cup one chopped of your choice.
1/2 cup of pearl barley
1 cup of white or great northern beans
3 cloves of garlic smashed
1 bay leaf
14 oz of diced tomatoes, I used half of the 28 oz can and used the juices
1 table spoon of olive oil
3 cup of veggie stock
5 cups of water
2-4 tablespoon of Mrs Dash garlic herb blend, you can adjust to your taste as it cooks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Baby spinach
1 cup of parmesan cheese

1- Pre-soak beans in water overnight.
2- In crock pot add all ingredients expect spinach, cheese and balsamic vinegar and cook on low for eight hours. Add in more water or stock if it get too thick.
3-Prior to serving add in about two large handfuls of spinach, cheese, balsamic vinegar and season to taste.

Perfect for a filling meal with a crusty loaf of bread.


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