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Healthy Recipes: Very Vegetable Minestrone with Barley and Beans

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February 19, 2013 | Issue 439

Versatile Vegetable Soup

Very Vegetable Minestrone with Barley and Beans

A soup or stew can hold a variety of colorful vegetables and is an easy way to add an extra serving or two every day. This hearty minestrone is packed with fiber-rich barley and beans, foods that can help prevent colon cancer. Onions, carrots, potatoes and cabbage are classic winter soup vegetables providing rich flavor and hearty goodness. Herbs infuse the soup with a classic Italian taste and help keep the sodium lower than canned alternatives.

Makes 4 servings.

Per 1½ (aprox.) serving: 260 calories, 4 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 46 g carbohydrate,
12 g protein, 13 g dietary fiber, 452 mg sodium.

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (including green stems)
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage (1 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (1/2 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped Savoy cabbage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 (14-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 cup frozen, cut green beans
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. In large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, sage, thyme, parsley and garlic. Sauté 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add cabbage, salt, pepper and cannellini beans and stir. Add broth, bring to a boil and stir in potato and barley. Reduce heat and simmer, covered 20-22 minutes or until potato pieces are tender when pierced with a fork, gently stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in green beans. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish by sprinkling Parmesan cheese over top and serve.

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