Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add enough water to cover beans by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in broth, water, beans, carrots, red peppers, celery, barley, 1/4 cup parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Add tomatoes; heat through. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parsley.