Roasted Vegetable Barley Soup
Great flavor is due to the roasted vegetables.
This recipe is very time consuming but worth it!

Servings: 4 large main dish servings

• Olive oil cooking spray
• 4 large plum tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved lengthwise
• 3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, quartered (about 8 ounces)
• 6 ounces fresh crimini, portobello or shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
• 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch wedges through root end
• 1 red bell pepper, quartered
• 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
• 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and roasted before time**

• 8 cups (or more) canned fat-free vegetable broth
• 1 1/2-ounce package dried porcini mushrooms,* broken into pieces
• 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
• 1 bay leaf

• 1 cup pearl barley

Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange tomatoes, carrots, crimini mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and zucchini on baking sheet. Spray liberally with olive oil cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 55 minutes.

Peel garlic and reserve. Coarsely chop half of vegetables and reserve. Transfer garlic and remaining vegetables from sheet to large pot (reserve sheet).

Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth to baking sheet and scrape up browned bits; add to pot with vegetables. Add 7 1/2 cups broth, dried porcini, thyme, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until vegetables and porcini are very tender, about 20 minutes. Pour vegetables and broth into large strainer set over bowl. Transfer vegetables in strainer to processor and puree until smooth; set aside.

Return broth and bay leaf to pot; add barley and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Add reserved vegetable puree and chopped vegetables to pot; simmer until soup thickens and flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Chill soup uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat, thinning with additional broth if desired before serving.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

*Dried porcini mushrooms are available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores, and many supermarkets.

** I find the garlic tends to burn during the full time. I have best results roasting it separately; cut off stem, rub cut side with oil and and place cut side up. Roast in 350 oven for 20 minutes. White garlic is still warm, squeeze out of the papery shell.

Per Serving: 336 Calories
3g Fat (5.7% calories from fat), trace Saturated Fat
31g Protein
69g Carbohydrate
15g Dietary Fiber
0mg Cholesterol
1036mg Sodium
Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain (Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

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