Mushroom-Barley Soup

PREP: 20 minutes COOK: 8 to 10 hours (low) or 4 to 5 hours (high) MAKES 6 servings

8 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms, cut into thirds and sliced

8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)

1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

1⁄2 cup regular barley

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth

Finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese and/or snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1 In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, undrained tomatoes, carrots, onion, barley, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, marjoram, salt, and paprika. Pour broth over mixture in cooker.

2 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Garnish each serving with cheese and/or parsley.

PER SERVING: 135 cal., 1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 2 mg chol., 1,192 mg sodium, 28 g carb., 6 g fiber, 6 g pro.

make it vegan

Substitute desired soy cheese for the Pecorino Romano cheese.