This is a soup I have come to love. Before heading down this heart healthy path, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used barley. I think both of those times it was for a soup and I only purchased what I needed for that particular day. Today, barley has become a staple in my pantry. I buy it in bulk and then store it in my own Rubbermaid container.
Last Friday I spent the day making food to take to my college aged son. It makes me feel good to make up healthy little packages for him. I make things for him that are easily frozen and taste good after having been frozen. We discovered vegan macaroni and cheese doesn’t unfreeze well. Veggie Barley soup is perfect for freezing in small containers. I was able to get 4 small containers from this batch of soup. Each container has about 2 1/2 servings of soup.
I use a homemade vegetable broth when I make this soup. I keep it written in the front of one of my cookbooks because I make it all the time. I usually make up a double batch and keep it in a large spice container in my spice cabinet. This is not my recipe and I cannot remember where it came from but this is a photo. You can always use a store bought vegetable broth if you prefer.
We were out to dinner a few weeks ago and ordered one of the restaurants vegan appetizers, chipotle and black bean hummus with pita and veggies. It was so yummy with just the right amount of spice, I immediately knew I wanted to work on figuring out the recipe. After several tries, (none were throw aways, just not the exact flavor) I figured it out, or as near to it as my taste buds remember.
Very easy to make! Probably why it was easy to have so many different practice dips. Everything goes into the Vita Mix and it all gets pureed. The liquid from a can of chickpeas is called aquafaba and there are tons of recipes out there using this fun liquid. I use aquafaba in place of oil in my hummus recipes.
A spicy black bean hummus that gives a zip to fresh veggies or pita
• 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and liquid reserved
• 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 teaspoons of minced garlic
• 1/2 cup of tahini
• 3 tablespoons aquafaba
• 1 lemon, juiced (approximately 2 tablespoons)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• sea salt to taste
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafaba).
Drain and rinse the black beans.
Add chickpeas, black beans, garlic, tahini, aquafaba, lemon juice, chipotle powder, cumin and sea salt to Vita Mix and blend well.
Add additional aquafaba until hummus reaches desired consistency.
This is an amazing vegan substitute for chicken salad. I usually serve it on buns, as a “chicken” salad sandwich, with some lettuce, sliced tomato, mustard, vegan mayo, whatever else your heart desires in a sandwich. It can be served as a dip or spread with whole grain crackers or chips. I have also served it over a bed of spinach, one of my personal favorites .The hardest part of this whole process is the smashing of the chickpeas. Yes, they have to be smashed to give just the right texture. If you toss them in your food processor it will blend them up too much.
I try to keep the whole rinsed chickpeas separate in my bowl from the ones I’ve already smashed. In this photo I doubled the recipe. There is one can of chickpeas that have been smashed on the right side and my second can rinsed, drained and ready to be smashed is on the left side.
This is what your bowl looks like once you have gone through and smashed each and every chickpea. I leave the skins on my chickpeas, as of yet I have never peeled a chickpea.
This is the finished “chicken” salad once you add the rest of the ingredients.