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  • 1 can your favourite beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (about 3½ cups)
  • 3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1½ cups chopped fennel
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2⁄3 cup of pearl barley or pasta
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese for topping

  1. Instructions:
    Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook til softened but not browned. Add the garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley and basil along with chickpeas and drained beans. Add 6-8 cups of water (substitute chicken or vegetable broth) so that vegetables are covered by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add pearl barley or pasta, salt and pepper. Continue to cook and add more liquid if soup seems too dry. Cook until pasta is tender
  3. Serve with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese.

TIP: You can add chicken, beef, pork or fish if you’d like a heartier broth. Use vegetables in season such as zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli