Barley Cheddar Chowder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
8 cups chicken broth, divided
3/4 cup pearl barley
2 packages (11 ounces each) soft tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Finely chopped red bell pepper and sour cream, for garnish
In large soup pot with lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 5 cups broth and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Cool. Place cooked barley, vegetables and liquid in batches in blender jar; whirl until partially smooth. (Barley should retain some texture.) Return blended barley mixture to soup pot. Puree tofu and remaining 3 cups broth in blender; add to barley. Stir in cheese, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Warm soup over low heat just until cheese is melted. Ladle soup into bowls and top with chopped red bell pepper and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: calories 266, protein 14g, carbohydrates 14g, fiber 3g, fat 17g, cholesterol 42mg, sodium 929mg.