I blame the daughter.
During a recent conversation, she revealed that a few of her new chums from the UK had never heard of Mexican fare such as tacos or quesadillas. Blimey!
That knowledge induced a churning in the dome that rests upon my shoulders.
With the arctic chill still gripping New England, I thought the bite, the tang, the heat, the piquant (fancy, huh?) of a spicy Mexican meal would be just the ticket to warm things up a bit.
I used the bean and barley soup recipe as the base of this dish but changed the spices to reflect the zing of a savory sopa.
It registered on my brainwaves as a mild version of chili . Not the end of the world but it wasn’t the flavor profile I was after.
My first mistake was not only using poblano peppers but omitting their seeds as well. Mild in heat, they didn’t give the dish the sting I was after. Red or green chilies would have been a better choice.
Other ingredients used in Mexican dishes that I could have experimented with included lime, cilantro, coconut milk and (yes) chocolate!
Avocados are also commonly used in these types of dishes.
I dislike them with a passion.
I know what you are thinking, veganism/vegetarianism and avocados go together like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. They just gel.
But, not in this lady’s lair!! Phew, the secret is out!
Serves…way too many, I mean (8-12)
8 oz red kidney beans, dry
8 oz chickpeas, dry
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic. minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 poblano peppers, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sea salt
cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup barley, soaked for 4 hours
56 oz diced tomatoes, I used canned because my grocery store fresh tomatoes looked rather sad
12-16 cups vegetable broth
Soak beans and chickpeas overnight.
Cover barley in cold water and soak for 4 hours.
While barley is soaking, cover beans in cold water and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to medium and cook until tender. About an hour.
Prepare ingredients by dicing and mincing.
In a large pot, add a little veggie broth and heat. Add onions, garlic, peppers, celery and carrots. Cook for five minutes. Add spices and cook for another 5 minutes. Add barley. Cook for two minutes. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth. Simmer until vegetables are tender. About 1-2 hours.
WHAMMER JAMMER – The J. Geils Band
(not in the missed category!)
What would you have done differently from this recipe? Please leave a comment…