Vegetable Bean and Barley Soup

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We’ve had quite the winter in New England with a new storm popping up every third day or so. My response to all this snow nonsense? Make soup. Enormous batches of piping hot soup. At least our bellies are warm when the temperature outside is 4 degrees. Brr! This soup is hearty enough to enjoy as a meal with the chewy barley and protein-packed beans and chickpeas.

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked barley (I used the 10-minute barley from Trader Joes)

10 stalks celery, cut into pieces

4 large carrots, cut into pieces

1 bag frozen corn

1 bag frozen cut green beans

1 Pomi container of diced tomatoes, with liquid

8 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all vegetables, broth, tomatoes, beans, chickpeas, and bay leaf in slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When done cooking, remove bay leaf. Mix in cooked barley and serve. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

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