Friday, November 9, 2012

Trader Joe's Spotlight: 17 Bean & Barley Soup Mix

With Fall upon us, now is the time for warming soups and stews to take center stage. I've long been a fan of bean soup mixes ( just don't use that hideous seasoning packet they sometimes throw in there! ), and they are great for a crockpot.

Trader Joe's sells a nice bean mix that makes a delicious soup. The barley is a nice addition.
If you don't have a TJ's near you, any bean mix will do.

17 Bean & Barley Soup

* 1 (1 lb) Trader Joe’s 17 Bean and Barley soup mix (or 2 cups of your favorite mix of dried beans, barley and lentils; soaked overnight)
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 large white onion, chopped
* 2 carrots, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbs Herbs De Provence
* 1 Tbs dried basil
* 4 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
* 1 (14.5 oz) can organic low sodium diced tomatoes, in their juices
* 1 tomato bouillon cube
* coarse salt and pepper

Toss the soaked bean/barley mix into a large pot. Add the broth and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and red bell pepper. Sprinkle with Herbs De Provence, dried basil, a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Saute until veggies start to soften, 5 minutes.
Add the veggies to the soup pot. Add the bouillon cube, partially cover and simmer on medium for an hour.
If you need to add water at any point, toss a cup in.
Taste and season accordingly. If the beans need a little longer, simmer another 20 minutes.