As I’ve mentioned or suggested, I don’t do the cooking in our household. I do know how to cook and even enjoy it at times, but DJ is way better at it and it comes much easier to him. He can just throw things together and end up with an amazing dish. Me, not so much.
I unofficially suggested that I’ll cook dinner once a week. To me that meant I’d need adequate planning to assure that I had a recipe and all the ingredients.
I recently subscribed to Eating Well magazine and in their January issue there was a recipe for soup that caught my eye. I folded the page over and then pretty much forgot about it. On Sunday, DJ was browsing the same magazine and said “I know what I want you to make for dinner tomorrow” and well, of course it was the same recipe I had folded over. Unfortunately I told him that a) I had plans to go to the gym and b) I didn’t have any of the ingredients.
As Monday progressed, my cold left me feeling eh and rather tired, so I made the executive decision to skip the gym and instead hit the supermarket to pick up the missing ingredients.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe, as well as my modifications.
Bean and Barley Soup
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
- 1 5-ounce package baby spinach (6 cups)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, and basil; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Mash 1/2 cup of the beans. Stir the mashed and whole beans, tomatoes, broth and barley into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and pepper.
DJ said we had vegetable stock at home, so I didn’t buy any. We didn’t. So we used a chicken stock instead.
I added about a half a (small) can of tomato paste to thicken it up a bit.
I bought fire roasted tomatoes with garlic and then reduced the garlic by a bit.
I had no clue how to cut fennel so I watched this video.
We also added some Italian chicken sausage which helped boost the flavor and up the protein. (From Trader Joe’s of course.)
It was really good! We both brought some for lunch today and I’m looking forward to it.
Notice how nice the soup looks in their photo. I took a couple of my own.
Big difference! The picture in the bowl isn’t horrible, but the soup in the pot is pretty atrocious. Please don’t choose not to make this based upon my photography. 🙂
So overall my first attempt at cooking dinner in a long time was a success. Hooray!
Now it’s Tuesday. Knock wood, my cold seems to be on it’s way out. Class tonight too! Have a great day!!!