Wake-Up-Your-Mouth Grain Soup

Wake-Up-Your-Mouth Grain Soup

Wake-Up-Your-Mouth Grain Soup
Soup is good food, especially when it's loaded with all of these nutrient-rich vegetables. Although there are a lot of ingredients, the more, the merrier.
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Ingredients
1/2 cup pearl barley
Water
1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
1/2 cup bulgur
1 tbsp. light olive oil
3 ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded and broken into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground allspice
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, finely diced
1 zucchini, finely diced
1 parsnip, finely diced
1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds

Methods/steps
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. Meanwhile, 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. Meanwhile, 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 chilies, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and allspice and season with 1 tbsp. 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.

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