Vegetable Barley Soup

I came up with this recipe to use up many veggies I had on hand.

Feel free to add your favorite herbs and spices. I was in the mood for something really simple, so just used bay leaves.

olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
handful baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
about 4 cups chicken broth (or use veggie)
1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 small (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen green beans
1 small can sliced mushrooms
2 bay leaves
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, carrot and celery about 5 minutes, or til softened. Stir in garlic and cook another minute or so.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium low heat 45 minutes or til barley is tender. Remove bay leaves.

I served the soup with buttered cornbread.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d697/d164/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

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