- 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
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook til softened but not browned. Add the garlic.
- 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.
- 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