Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving.....

If you're at all like me, right about now you've settled into the comfy part of the couch and secretly unbuttoned your pants so that you can breathe!  You swore you were not going to overeat this Thanksgiving, but here we are.  Once again.  Which is why you're going to want to make this tomorrow.  It's intended to be a vegetarian dish, but if you have an overabundance of turkey to use up, you could definitely throw it in here.

This is a really hearty soup that is high in fiber and low in calories (without the turkey!) which makes it perfect for the next few days.  So you'll feel better about yourself.  And not feel guilty about all of the upcoming Christmas parties you'll be attending.    Whatever works, right?

I found this recipe on what has quickly become my favorite twice-weekly email.....The Dish from Food and Wine (click on the link to subscribe).  There's usually a theme to the email and it's chock full of great recipes, weekly meal planners, wine tips, etc.  Anyhoo, this one was from Mary Ellen Diaz, who went from being a chef in a gourmet restaurant to running the First Slice Soup Kitchen in Andersonville, Illinois.  This is based on a brothy tortilla soup that's full of bulgur, barley and brown rice and spicy Latin flavors, which she says "do well on the street".

Everyone loved this soup.  It's filling, healthy, and most importantly.....tasty!  And depending on the dried peppers you choose, it can be as spicy or as mild as you like it.

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Grain Soup
Recipe by:  Mary Ellen Diaz


1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
1/2 cup bulgur
1 tablespoon light olive oil
3 ancho or dried mulato chiles—stemmed, seeded and broken into 2-inch pieces (use gloves to handle any spicy chiles)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 quarts vegetable broth (I do not like the taste of vegetable broth, so I used chicken broth.  I realize this doesn't make it vegetarian, but....I don't care!!)
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
6 cilantro sprigs, plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium zucchini, finely diced
1 medium parsnip, finely diced
1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds (I eliminated these.  Couldn't find them)


In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover. In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.

In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.

In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.

One Serving 368 cal, 14 gm fat, 1.4 gm sat fat, 29 gm carb, 11 gm fiber.

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