Vegetable barley chili

Quick dress update: I returned the black one and picked up the blue one from Macy’s. Thanks for all the opinions, you guys are like my virtual fashion stylists. :)

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One of the things I love most about Sundays besides these and these, is come 4pm, hooking up my iPhone to the docking station on my kitchen countertop, blasting some music (usually Today’s Country Radio on Pandora unless I’m feeling too sassy for some twang), pouring myself a glass of wine and starting to cook. Sundays mean plenty of time in the kitchen without any pressure to get dinner on the table by a certain time, no workouts hanging over my head and Brad Paisley singing to me to “remind him” (Oh, Brad I wish I could, believe me.)

That’s what last Sunday was like.

This Sunday, I’m spending my entire day in a freezing hotel conference room listening to sessions on elevators, green waste recovery and fuel cell technology. Scintillating, no?

Let’s talk about last Sunday instead.

While Brad crooned, (I try to drown out Carrie) this bubbled away on the stove.

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Spicy vegetable barley chili.

There’s really nothing like a good spicy chili on a fall day. The best part about chili is the fact that it tastes even better after a day or so. Any leftover that tastes better than the original is a win in my book.

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The key to the spiciness is in these bad boys.

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I think the first time I heard of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce I was watching a Rachael Ray 30 minute meal episode. I was intrigued and bought them the next time I was in the grocery store, used about 5 in the next chili recipe I made and nearly spit out the first spoonful that touched my lips. These things are HOT! 5 is about 4 too many in a chili recipe FYI.

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My dad will probably cringe at the fact that there’s no meat in this chili but the barley gives it plenty of volume and staying power that dare I say the meat isn’t even missed? Topped with some sharp cheddar cheese, there’s really not much else that’s better on a cozy fall Sunday night.

So, blast some music, drink up and spend some time in your kitchen today, ok? I wish I was.

 

Vegetable Barley Chili

Yield: 6 servings

  • 1 cup uncooked barley
  • 1 14 oz. can vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 small/medium (or 2 large) zucchini, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can  kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

In a small sauce pot combine water, vegetable broth and barley and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes. While barley is cooking, in a dutch oven or other large pot, add olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic and thyme over a medium-high heat. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add zucchini and sauté for another 5 minutes or so until softened. Once vegetables are softened, add chipotle chili, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and spices including salt & pepper to the pot. By this time barley should have almost absorbed all the liquid. Add barley and remaining liquid to the pot with the vegetables. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Let cook for at least another 15 minutes to fully cook barley and meld flavors. Can be served at this point or continue cooking on low heat for another 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook it, the less liquid there will be as the barley will continue to absorb the liquid. Can also be made ahead of time and warmed up on the stove before serving. Like any chili, the flavors get better with time. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, avocado & plain yogurt as topping, if desired.

 

What’s your favorite chili topping?

Tell me the best part about your Sunday so I can live vicariously through you guys today.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I love that you put cheese on this :)

  2. 2

    Anything with those canned peppers is good in my book!

  3. 3

    Barley in Chili what a cool idea! My favorite chili topping is chopped scallions! And the best part of my Sunday so far was running in the park with my dogs and mom this morning:)

  4. 4

    I LOVE chilis in adobo but I hate that I always have extras left and never know what to do with the rest. Do you know how long they stay good in the fridge? BTW-this chili looks FABULOUS!

    • 5
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Oh my gosh Lauren, I was going to say the SAME thing! I’ve kept them in the fridge before in a tight tupperware for like a month but they started growing mold after that. I wish I could buy them individually!

      • 6

        :-)
        Been there, done that! I use them a lot in a turkey chili recipe and then watch the reminder become a science project in the fridge because I hate throwing them out. Wouldn’t it be GREAT ! Seriously who uses the ENTIRE can in ONE recipe. Thanks for the reply!.

  5. 7

    Ohhhh, how I miss enjoying a glass of wine while I cook– such a great Sunday night ritual. This dinner looks superb! I hope your conference is going well…

  6. 8

    Ugh. I cannot wait to make my first batch of chili!! It needs to cool down a little more before I do…WHERE IS FALL!?!

  7. 9

    the chili looks great. I love barley…havent had it in ages though.

    And I bet this has a nice KICK to it. yum!

  8. 10

    um this looks amazing, but you lost some credibility with me on the whole country music thing.

  9. 12

    Best part about my sunday=trip to Trader Joe’s :D

    • 13
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      is it sad that I passed a TJ’s here in Cali and wanted to go in and shop, pack it in my suitcase and take it home? <3 that store!

  10. 14

    bookmarked!!!!!!!!! I need to buy barley and those chiles stat!!! =)

    ps: are you on pinterest yet? if not. get. on. it.

    pps: have we already talked about this? bahaha!

  11. 16

    Do you think it is possible to make this recipe in a crock pot? I don’t know how the barley would hold up – if it would absorb too much water over the 6 hours. Thanks!

    • 17
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Honestly, I’m not sure. I would probably cook the barley separate from the rest of the chili if you go the crock pot route and add it in at the end. although, what’s the worse that could happen, mushy barley? I’m sure it would still taste good :)

  12. 18

    Beautiful photos of this chili. So awesome. I have to admit when I first stumbled upon your blog, I bookmarked it because you have a Weimaraner. Ginger is, of course, awesome. But I subscribed when I saw your food photography, and I keep coming back for more!!

    I made a soup with barley this week too. Funny coincidence! :) I used up all my barley though so I have to go buy more to make this.

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  1. [...] slightly frosty fall weather, comes this delicious and flavorful spicy vegetable barley chili via Running to the Kitchen. A bit ‘o spice to warm up a cool night at the house is pure delight for any food fanatic or [...]

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