Friday, September 21, 2007

Vegetable Barley Soup

With only 128 calories and one gram of fat per servings, this tasty soup is a great way to get your daily vegetable quota. Pair it with bread and a side salad for a filling meal.

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 8-9 hours
Yield: 12 servings

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1-1/2 cups fresh baby carrots, halved
1-1/2 cups frozen cut green beans
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups water
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
1 cup medium pearl barley
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first eight ingredients. Stir in the water, broth, barley, bay leaf and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until barley and vegetables are tender.

Stir in tomatoes; cover and cook on high for 10-20 minutes or until heated through. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Tips and Tricks
This recipe makes a large amount of soup, so if you have a smaller family, adjust the quantities to make a smaller batch. I omitted the bay leaf and celery and used chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth. For a heartier soup, add whole wheat noodles.
Make It Healthier
Omit salt. Use low-sodium canned tomatoes.
How Kids Can Help
Use food chopper to chop onions and peppers. Measure spices. Push buttons on slowcooker.

Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups equals 128 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 812 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
Diabetic Exchanges
1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable

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