- 1 1/2 cups cooked barley along with the broth in Step 2.
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
- half package baby spinach
- freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, and basil; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Mash 1/2 cup of the beans.
- Stir the mashed and whole beans, tomatoes, broth and barley into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and pepper.