Spray large saucepan with non-stick spray. Add chopped carrots, onion and celery. Saute over low heat 5-7 minutes until softened - add garlic for the last minute.
Add tomato paste (if you are out, just use 2 T. catsup), and stir it around a bit with the vegetables.
Stir in broth, cabbage, herbs and barley. Simmer, partly covered, for 40 minutes until barley is softened. Add zucchini and parsley after the barley has cooked about 20 minutes, allowing them to cook for the last 20 minutes.
Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper and 1 T. Parmesan cheese if desired.