Slow-Cooker Barley & Chickpea Risotto

Serves 6

    1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 carrots, peeled and chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
    1/2 small yellow onion, minced
    4 sprigs fresh thyme
    1-1/4 cups pearl barley, rinsed
    1 can (15.5 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    2-1/2 cups less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    1-1/4 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, garlic, cauliflower and onion. Cook until vegetables being to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.  Stir in thyme and barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.   Transfer mixture to slow-cooker bowl. Stir in garbanzo beans, broth, water, salt and pepper. Cook on high 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until barley is tender and most liquid is absorbed.

4.  Remove and discard thyme sprigs; stir in lemon juice. Serve in warm bowls garnished with cheese and parsley.