Chicken, barley and vegetable soup

Minestrone with white beans

Makes 4 servings

With “quick-cooking” barley, this classic, old-fashioned soup can easily be ready to serve in 15 minutes.

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 carrots, cut into 1/8-inch slices

1 can (49 ounces) fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces boneless skinless split chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch by ½-inch strips

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced (including green tops)

½ cup quick-cooking pearled barley

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Add the chicken broth; increase the heat to high. When the broth comes to a boil, stir in the remaining ingredients. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the barley is tender.

Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning.