tomato, bean, and barley soup

i can't believe i'm sitting here in pants and a long sleeved shirt, listening to the pouring rain, and hoping the temperature will reach 60 degrees today. just two weeks ago, we were turning on the air conditioning as the temp hit above 90 for a couple days in a row. the change in weather messes with my meal planning - one week we're eating salads and grilling chicken, the next we're longing for big bowls of pasta and soup. and while i won't be making this bowl of soup tonight - this chicken marsala risotto won out in the end - if this weather holds out, it might end up on the menu sooner than i think.

tomato, bean, and barley soup
adapted from the macro chef
45 minutes, serves 6

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounces diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup quick cooking barley
2 cups cooked white beans (14 ounce can)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 cup chopped spinach
  1. coat the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. add the mushrooms and onions and saute for about 5 minutes. add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook an additional 5 minutes. 
  2. add the tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. add the barley and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. add the beans, soy sauce, and mirin and season with salt and pepper.
  4. right before serving, stir in the spinach. serve with crusty bread.

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