Fall is here which I’ve accepted, I’m fine, it’s fine. I’m all for scarves and soups anyways. What I love about soup is, you can throw everything from your fridge into a pot and all of a sudden it’s the best tasting soup that you’ve ever had. What sucks is knowing you never recreate the soup again. I still have a ginger carrot soup from two years ago, in my freezer, ready to be served on a special occasion, like a fine wine. Back to the white bean and barley soup… it’s easy, it’s delicious, it tastes better the next day and it’s ridiculously low in calories with no cholesterol. WHY NOT?
Why is this good food good for you?
- Soluble Fibre. Foods that are high in soluble fibers help clear out cholesterol from your body before they are absorbed and reduce the bad LDL cholesterol. They are also great for your digestive system and reduce the risk of stroke. I’ve added white kidney beans and barley to add substance to this low-calorie dish. Both are high in fiber and will help clear out bad LDL cholesterol, and both are hearty, keeping you full, longer.
- Potassium v. Sodium. Kale has a ton of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C and is low in sodium, which is great for your heart health goals. There is a relationship between sodium and potassium; both are vital for our health, but chances are most of us are eating more sodium than potassium causing us to have high blood pressure. Increasing your potassium intake may balance the sodium-potassium levels in your system, and any surplus gets flushed out of your system. Increasing your potassium and decreasing your sodium intake may greatly improve your heart health. Something to consider. Here is a great article for more info.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped celery stalks
1 chopped leek
handful chopped white mushrooms
3 smashed garlic cloves
1 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes (or fresh)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 15 oz. canned, rinsed white kidney beans
2 cups chopped green kale
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked, rinsed pearl barley
2 1/2 cup water
lemon wedges to top (optional)
shredded parmesan cheese to top (optional)
10 Easy Steps (Instructions):
Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
Add and sauté leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms.
Step 2: Occasionally stir, cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables tender.
Step 3: Add tomatoes and tomato paste.
Step 4: Add beans and mix thoroughly.
Step 5: Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
Step 6: Add kale and reduce to a simmer.
Step 7: Meanwhile cook barley separately to prevent it from getting soggy in the soup. Bring barley and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil.
Step 8: Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered until water has been absorbed and barley is tender. Approximately 40-50 minutes. When ready, set aside to cool.
Step 9: Season soup with salt and pepper to your liking. (I added the barley to the soup knowing we would eat it all. I recommend you cook it separately and add to portioned soup when ready to eat otherwise barley will soak up the broth and become soggy).
Step 10: To serve, portion out soups in bowls, add as much barley as you like, enjoy with lemon and parmesan cheese, if desired.