Monday, February 16, 2015

Exotic Bean and Barley Soup

Exotic Bean and Barley Soup
As I get ready to take the left overs from this meal out of the freezer for dinner tonight, I figure now is as good a time as any to share the recipe for a delicious soup that highlights two ingredients I have honestly never cooked with before.  The only reason I added both mung beans and barley into this dish is that I had bought them after hearing Dr. Oz talk about their numerous health benefits on a couple of different shows and I was tired of seeing them in my pantry staring at me. So I figured, why not cook with them together?  The result is a rich and hearty soup, that although I did add a little chicken sausage to at the end, is a fabulous vegan meal all on it's own.  And since we are having such a ridiculously snowy and cold winter here in PA and I have barely gotten to the gym at all, this high protein dish is a perfect comfort food without extra calories.  And the recipe makes a lot so you will have plenty left over for another cold evening.

Exotic Bean and Barley Soup

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
some ingredients
1/4 C. chopped red onion *
1 1/2 T. Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1 1/2 T. Thai red curry paste
1 tsp. ground ginger (or freshly grated)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or freshly chopped)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
6 C. water
1 C. dried pearled barley
1 C. dried mung beans
4 organic carrots, finely chopped
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
couple of handfuls of organic baby spinach
cooked and sliced chicken sausage, optional

*I used canned caramelized onions because I didn't have a fresh onion on hand

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the red onion and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes until softened.  Stir in the bouillon, curry paste, ground ginger, garlic and turmeric and cook for about 2 minutes.  Pour in the water, then add in the barley, beans, and carrots.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk and slowly add in the spinach by the handful, letting each bunch wilt before adding the next.  Mix in the chicken sausage, if desired, and serve.

ready to cook

adding in the spinach

ready to serve

close up view

served with sliced organic chicken sausage on top

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