1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup pearled barley
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed amd drained
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from a large bunch)
1 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized and tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes, scraping up the browned bits (add a little water to the bottom of the pot if it begins to overebrown). Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add barley and 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer partially covered, over medium heat until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in beans and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in 2 cups whole parsley leaves. Add more water to thin soup as necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, in blender, combine dill, mint, remaining parsley, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and 2 Tbsp. water. Puree to desired consistency. Serve soup topped with herb pesto and a dollop of yogurt.
Yield: Serves 4
Note: Feel free to swap out the cannellini beans with great northern or navy beans.