Wheat Berry and Wild Mushroom Soup with Whole-Wheat Pasta

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Ingredient List: 

1 cup uncooked wheat berries
2 cups boiling water
½ cup dried porcini or shitake mushrooms (about ¾ ounce)
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
4 carrots, sliced
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
½ cup white wine (or unsweetened apple juice can be substituted for wine)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ cups cooked whole-wheat pasta such as penne
5 ounces fresh spinach
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Place wheat berries in a medium saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 1 hour or until tender.  Drain.

Combine 2 cups boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes.  Drain mushrooms, reserve soaking liquid.  Discard mushroom stems; thinly slice mushroom caps.

Combine parsley and garlic; divide into 2 equal portions.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add cooked wheat berries, mushrooms, ½ of parsley mixture, onion and carrots; sauté 5 minutes.  Stir in reserved mushroom liquid, broth, wine and tomato paste; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.  Add pasta, spinach, salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Stir in reserved parsley mixture.  Spoon soup into bowls and top with cheese.

Servings:  8
Time Saver Tip: Cook extra wheat berries as directed in the recipe or they can be prepared following the brown rice directions in a rice cooker.  Freeze for later use.  

Calories/Serving 231
Nutrition:  One serving provides approximately:  13 g Protein, 35 g Carbohydrates, 7 g Fiber, 3.5 g Fat  (1 g saturated), 4 mg Cholesterol, 50 mcg Folate, 4 mg Iron, 692 mg Sodium

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