Hearty Multi-Bean Soup



    • 16 ounces assorted dried beans
    • 1 piece kombu
    • 4 cups Vegetable Stock
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 cup barley
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 carrots, sliced
    • 3 stalks celery, sliced
    • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 cups shredded cabbage
    • 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar (plum vinegar; available in Asian grocery stores)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    1. In a stockpot, soak beans and kombu overnight, covered by about 3 inches of water.
    2. Drain and rinse beans, reserving kombu. Place beans, kombu, Vegetable Stock, 8 cups water, bay leaf, thyme and oregano in stockpot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.
    3. Meanwhile, simmer barley for 35 to 40 minutes in 2 cups of water, until al dente.
    4. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots and celery for 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables just start to soften.
    5. After beans have cooked for 1 hour, remove kombu from pot. Add barley, sautéed vegetables and remaining ingredients. Add more water, if desired, and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.
    6. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
    Ann Gentry, host of Naturally Delicious, has spent the past 20 years raising the standard of vegetarian cooking. As a chef, restaurateur, food educator and visionary, she has succeeded in combining macrobiotic food preparation with the richness of her southern upbringing to create a gourmet vegetarian cuisine even meat lovers covet.As the executive chef of Vegetarian Times magazine, Ann creates original vegetarian recipes and contributes articles on healthy eating and living. Ann also writes her own bimonthly column about food and children for the British magazine Junior: The World’s Finest Parenting Magazine.Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent vegetarian menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. Bon Appetit magazine wrote that “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily, has taken two different California trends — vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse — and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.” With two California locations, in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Real Food Daily has “developed a loyal following.” Its patrons range from the someday to the everyday vegetarian, to celebrities, to trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates or the mature diner seeking gourmet, health-supportive cuisine. Ann’s first cookbook, “The Real Food Daily Cookbook,” published by Ten Speed Press, is available for purchase on her website www.realfood.com and at bookstores. As the spokesperson for SOYJOY, an all-natural nutrition bar made with whole soy, Ann has appeared on many radio and television shows as well as various food lifestyle shows promoting a healthy lifestyle. She has also been a guest chef at Canyon Ranch, Pritikin Longevity Center, Robert Mondavi Wine Center, L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Environmental Media Awards, North American Vegetarian Society and Central Market. In the spring of 2008, Ann will be a featured guest chef on a Caribbean cruise ship, in the program “A Taste of Health” on Holistic Holiday at Sea. Ann lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Robert Jacobs, and their two vegetarian children, Halle and Walker.