2 14.5-ounce cans Hunts All-Natural Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1½ cup leeks, cleaned of sand, white parts only, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
1½ cups Tuscan kale, cleaned, stems removed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, pulled from stems and divided
1 pound dry pearl barley
½ cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups whole milk
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Peel squash and cut into half inch thick slices. Doesn’t matter how big the slices are as they will be diced after roasting.
In a small bowl mix squash with two tablespoons of oil, half teaspoon of salt and quarter teaspoon of pepper.
Spray a small sheet pan with pan spray then line with a cut piece of parchment paper. The spray will stop the paper from sticking to the pan as the squash roasts, making for easy cleanup. Pour the squash onto the pan in a single layer and roast close to bottom of oven for 25 minutes, flipping half way through. The high heat will put a nice roasted surface on the outside while the center cooks. Remove from oven, cool and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Pour both cans of the Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl to drain but do not discard liquid.
While squash is roasting, heat a four quart pan over medium high heat with two tablespoons of oil and add leeks. Stir and cook until the leeks are no longer raw but not fully cooked, about two to three minutes.
Add garlic, kale and half the thyme, reduce to medium and cook for four to five minutes, or until kale starts to wilt.
Add last tablespoon of oil and dry barley and stir and cook for three minutes.
Add wine to deglaze pan bottom. This will splatter so use caution.
Keep the pan between medium and medium high and add the reserved tomato liquid but leave tomatoes in strainer over bowl. (More liquid will drain which may be used to reheat leftovers.) Cook kale mixture until all of this liquid has been absorbed. Then add one cup of broth. Stir and cook until absorbed then add one of cup of milk. Again cook and stir until absorbed then alternate between broth and milk until it is all used, making sure not to add each cup until the previous cup is absorbed. This process will take about 30-35 minutes.
Test a grain of barley for doneness at 30 minutes. If it is still not quite tender, add a little more reserved tomato liquid and cook until the barley is tender but still has a slightly crunchy chew feel.
Stir in the Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, remove from heat, cover and let rest ten minutes to heat through.
Adjust seasoning then stir in squash, butter, cheese and remaining fresh thyme.
Serve warm with additional shaved Parmesan cheese over the top.
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