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Vegetable Barley Stew with Lentils

1 c Pearl barley

6 c Water

Light vegetable oil spray 1 c Chopped onion (1 medium)

1 1/2 c Scraped & chopped carrot

-(2 to 3 carrots) 1 c Dried lentils

1 Bay leaf

1/2 ts Grated fresh ginger

1 tb Dried basil

1 tb Dried thyme

1 tb Dried oregano

3 c V8 juice, low-sodium

1 c Chopped zucchini (1 small)

1 c Chopped red bell pepper

-(1 medium pepper) 1 tb Chopped jalapeno pepper

-(1 small pepper) 1 c Scraped & chopped celery

-(2 medium stalks) 1 c Chopped tomato (1 medium)

2 c Chopped mushrooms

6 Garlic cloves, peeled and

-minced 2 tb Soy sauce, reduced sodium

1/2 c Chopped fresh parsley

Combine the barley and 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Put a heavy stockpot over medium heat for about 1 minute. Spray it twice with the vegetable oil. Add the onion and carrots. Saute, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in the lentils, bay leaf, ginger, dried herbs, and remaining 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the V8 juice, zucchini, peppers, celery, and tomato to the pot. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the barley and its cooking liquid. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and soy sauce. Cook for 10 minutes more to thicken the stew. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

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