Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes Serves: 4-6
2 T. extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced 3 medium carrots, diced 2 large celery stalks, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 6 c. chicken broth, preferably organic* 2 T. tomato paste 1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes, with liquid 2 14-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed ½ c. pearl barley, rinsed and drained 2 large bay leaves 3” chunk Parmesan cheese rind 1 t. Italian seasoning 3 c. baby spinach, roughly chopped ¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 1-2 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
*For a thinner soup, add additional chicken broth
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies become soft and aromatic, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, white beans, pearl barley, bay leaves, and Parmesan rind. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and gently simmer until the barley is cooked through, approximately 20-25 minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach and parsley. Simmer just until the spinach wilts, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves and remaining cheese rind. Serve immediately sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!