This warm and filling soup is the best way to show your heart some love all winter. It features 2 of my favorite cholesterol lowering foods - beans and barley and a whole host of vegetables. Don't be alarmed by the long list of ingredients - it's so easy! I adapted this recipe from Cook's Country —CravingSomethingHealthy
medium onion, diced
large parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
large carrots peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
garlic cloves, minced
low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
minced fresh thyme
sprigs fresh rosemary
kale (or spinach), stems trimmed and chopped
14.5 oz small white beans (navy beans), drained and rinsed
Heat oil in a large stockpot on high heat and add onion, parsnips, and carrots, and cook until lightly browned and softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
Add broth, and then potatoes, uncooked barley, and herbs and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 50 minutes, or until barley is tender.
Remove and discard bay leaf and rosemary stems.
With an immersion blender, pulse soup about 10 times, or until desired consistency is achieved.
Alternatively, remove about 2 cups of the solids and liquid and puree them in a blender. Add pureed mixture back into the pot.
Add drained beans, kale and peas, and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until peas are tender.