This recipe is one of the first I experimented with while transitioning to my new lifestyle.  I found this recipe on Savvy Vegetarian and made changes based on my love for spicy foods.  You’ll notice that I usually make large quantities of food for purposes of giving away to others (sharing the vegan love), leftovers and freezing for future meals.  You can expect 12-16 servings with this recipe so just cut in half if you can’t use such a large quantity.    Many of our non-vegan friends and family love this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

1 1/2 cups dry garbanzo beans*
1 1/2 cups dry Kidney beans*
1 cup barley**
12-16 cups of water (the liquid from the cooked beans and barley should be used towards this amount)
1 Tbsp olive oil (or water covering bottom of pan if you have transitioned into a limited or oil free lifestyle)
4 carrots, diced
6 potatoes, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 lb green beans, fresh or frozen
1 habanero pepper, finely diced
2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, zested
2 tsp basil, thyme, marjoram, paprika
a pinch of fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 oz. can flavored tomato paste
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

* soak beans together overnight.  Drain, rinse and cook together (cover with water and cook 1-2 hours on medium heat) the next day.
** soak barley in water (generously cover) for 4 hours.  For a softer kernel soak overnight.  Keep the soaking water for later use.

Heat oil or water in large cooking pot.  Add carrots, potatoes, celery, peppers and green beans. Saute for 5 minutes. Add a little bit of water, if necessary, to keep vegetables from burning.  Add habanero, jalapenos and spices and cook for 2 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients including the liquid from the beans, barley and any water if necessary.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for at least two hours or longer for more enhanced flavor. Soup is ready to serve when vegetables are tender.

What do you think of this sassy soup?   Leave a comment and let me know!