Country French Barley Vegetable Potage


6 cups water
1 tablespoon low-sodium, fat-free beef bouillon powder
1⁄2 cup pearled barley
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced leek
1 cup sliced fresh carrot
1 cup sliced celery
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a large pot, combine 3 cups of the water with the beef bouillon powder and pearled barley. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until barley is softened. Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Sauté garlic, leek, carrot, and celery until crisp-tender. Stir in mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender. Set aside until barley is softened. Add sautéed vegetables to large pot with barley and additional 3 cups water, herbes de Provence, and black pepper. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender and the consistency is thickened slightly. (You may need to add some water as soup cooks – the recipe should make 2 quarts of soup.)

Preparations time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 cups Serving size: 1 cup
Calories per serving: 63
Exchanges: 1⁄2 starch, 1 vegetable