Got 30 minutes? Then you can enjoy this easy minestrone for lunch!
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup baby carrots, sliced into rounds or strips
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach, cut into strips (or whole leaf frozen)
- 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks (optional)
- 1 small can beans: pink, kidney, or white
- 1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes
- 1 can vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup barley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cooking spray
- Spices to taste (oregano, bay, caraway seeds’)
On high heat, saute the onions and carrots in cooking spray a few minutes, stirring often. When onions begin to turn transparent, add the zucchini (and peppers) and quit stirring. Allow the zucchini to brown slightly.
Add the broth, the stewed tomatoes (undrained) and the beans (undrained). Add barley. Bring to a boil and simmer until grain is cooked. Add spinach when soup is nearly done, so it does not overcook.
This soup lasts well but thickens over time. To keep the proportions working, add more broth or stewed tomatoes. Another option is to take out some of the vegetables and use them as a vegetable side dish.