2 tsp. olive oil, extra-virgin
1 large uncooked carrot(s), diced
1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped
3/4 cup(s) uncooked celery, diced
4 tsp. minced garlic
4 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup(s) water
14 1/2 oz. canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup(s) uncooked barley, pearl variety
8 oz. fresh mushroom(s), crimini, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 small uncooked zucchini, diced
1/2 cup(s) basil, chopped
4 tbsp. shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, water and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add barley, mushrooms and pepper; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is almost tender, about 40 minutes.
3. Stir in zucchini; cover and cook until barley and zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season to taste, if desired. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1/2 tablespoon cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.