This soup has become a favorite in our household because of it's mixture of flavors and comforting warmth. It's pretty simple to make and is great the next day as leftovers. The barley will continue to expand, so you may need to add more chicken broth when you reheat it. I got this recipe from the Taste of Home website, and I modified it just a little. I try to use organic and low sodium ingredients whenever possible.
Italian Sausage Bean Soup
1 lb. Italian pork sausage
(or you can use regular sausage and add Italian seasoning)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 32 oz. boxes chicken broth
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. rosemary
4 cups chopped fresh kale
1. In a large pot, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
2. Stir in broth, barley, tomatoes, barley, carrot, sage and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
3. Stir in beans and kale. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and kale is wilted.
1 1/2 cups = 339 calories, 9 g. fat, 23 mg. cholesterol,
1100 mg. sodium, (less if you used low sodium broth) 48 g. carbohydrate, 11 g. fiber, 19 g. protein.