Smart Chick'n Minestrone with Barley
1 package (6 oz) Lightlife® Smart Strips® Chick'n®
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, sliced
3 medium carrots, chopped
5 medium ribs organic celery, chopped
1 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 bay leaf
12 fresh organic basil leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh leaves organic oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
2 quarts water
1 cup hulled organic barley
1 organic Yukon Gold, or other potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 organic zucchinis, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can (12 oz) organic red kidney beans, drained
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaf, basil, oregano and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and released some of their moisture.
Put the tomatoes and juice into a blender cup; cover and blend for about 10 seconds until nearly smooth. Add this and the water to the pot. Cover and raise the heat to high; bring to a boil. Add the barley. Lower the heat to medium-low; cover and cook at a medium boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender.
Add potatoes and zucchini; stir well to mix. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Stir in the drained beans and Smart Strips® Chick'n®. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans and Smart Strips® Chick'n are heated through. Taste for seasoning.
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