Thursday, September 9, 2010

Slow-Cooker Bean and Barley Soup

Serve this delicious hearty and healthy soup during the comfortable days of Autumn as well as the cold days of Winter! It guarantees to satisfy!

A helpful tip: Soak the beans overnight, in about 8 cups of cold water, just for a little re-assurance that they will not be "crunchy" when the soup is finished.

  • 1 cup dried Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, optional
  • 3 cups cleaned baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to season
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


Put beans, water, tomatoes and their juices, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, barley, bay leaf, herb blend, pepper, and porcini mushrooms (if using) in a slow cooker; cover and cook on LOW until the beans are quite tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours.

Stir in the spinach, cheese, and vinegar, cover, and let the soup cook until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil.


  1. Funny, don't know why the first paragraph keeps posting larger than the rest! I set the font size all the same. Hmmmmm.

  2. I made this yesterday (without the expensive shrooms) and it was great!

  3. Eric, Porcini mushrooms are not that expensive. I got them at Meijer for just a few dollars.

  4. There you go with Meijer again! They were about $6-7 at Hollywood Market.