Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Almost Soup Season!!!!

I love when the weather starts turning cooler here. It's still over 90 degrees here, but gone are the days over 110 degrees (at least until next summer). I have been dreaming of a fairly easy, healthy, hearty and flavorful soup for some time now, but just haven't been up for sweating while eating in the summer heat. Now's the time dear readers. Today I headed to the pantry to see what I could find. I hope you enjoy this tasty little number.

I love the flavor of Posole. The inspiration for this soup is Posole, but as you will see it took its own path as it was created. Like many people, sometimes my body doesn't react well to corn products. Instead of hominy there is barley to add more texture and heartiness. Sweet potatoes are added for some great anti-oxidants. The sweet caramelized onions play nicely off of the heat of the peppers. This makes a metric ton, so feel free to make half recipe. This will freeze well too. I tried to make a soup that people with many food sensitivities could enjoy. This one is gluten, soy and corn free.

Sweet Potato and Barley, Not so Posole Soup

Makes 12 cups

1 extra large yellow onion (approx. 2 cups) medium dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2-3 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded, finely diced*
1 anaheim pepper, stemmed and seeded finely diced*
6 cloves garlic, minced or micro-planed
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups strong vegetable broth
1 - 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup pearled barley
2 large garnet yams or orange sweet potatoes, peeled, 1/2 inch dice
2 cups small red beans, cooked rinsed and drained (like small red kidneys or Nicaraguan red beans)**
3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes worth)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro (measured before chopping) chopped

In large pot over medium heat olive oil. Add onions and sprinkle with brown sugar. Saute for about 15-20 minutes until onions are nicely caramelized. Add jalapenos, anaheim pepper, garlic and dried spices. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and tomatoes in juice. Bring to a boil and add barley. Bring to a boil again and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes and add sweet potatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 more minutes until sweet potatoes and barley are done. Add red beans and simmer until heated through. Just before serving add lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Soup with thicken considerably as it sits. If it is too thick when you re-heat, add a bit more vegetable broth to thin out.

Optional garnishes

Additional lime wedges
Hot sauce
Tortilla strips
Diced avocado

*If you like it hotter, leave your seeds in.
** If using canned beans you can up this to 3 cups so you don't have partial can left over. If you do this add one more cup of vegetable broth.


  1. Yum, this looks delicious! I potlucked with JohnP and he brought one of your salads (the one with tofu, some kind of round grain...israeli couscous maybe, deep fried green beans and this crazy delicious dressing. OMG, I want to eat this every single day. I can't wait for your cookbook to come out. I would buy it just for this one recipe!

  2. Hey Crystal. I'm so glad you like the salad! It was fun to create. I was nervous that he was going to serve it to a crowd of vegan foodies, so I am thrilled it was a success.