How to Pick a Peach, but I haven't forgotten my decision to work through the soups chapter of 500 Vegan Recipes either. I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I decided to take it easy.
I thought I'd finally gathered all of the ingredients for the Smokey Black Bean Soup, but I had already cooked my black beans, which the recipe does not want, and I had a 30 oz. can of diced tomatoes, but not any 15 oz. cans. None of that bothered me, but I realized that it might be easier to make the Barley Chili, and to use up my yellow squash from the farmers' market.
The other major change I made was to use up a half red onion that had been in my fridge for a few days and been browned a bit by a misguided attempt at iced coffee. I recommend it. It might have been the coffee, but I think the red onion really added something. In addition to that flavor, it was pretty spicy. I had to use two kinds of chili powder to make up the required 2 tablespoons, but I think that also worked in my favor.
However, one thing that did not work in my favor was the barley. I managed, despite 3 cups of broth and 15 oz of tomato sauce, to burn the barley. I'm no stranger to this when I'm cooking straight up grains, but this is an entire chili. There was still liquid in the pot ... how does the grain burn? No one knows.
I was too lazy to make corn bread, so I ate some day-old baguette on the side. I also added some fresh cilantro before digging in. Definitely a repeater! This chili was hot, rich, and chewy. The cilantro should be a requirement, and the baguette did a lot to mitigate the spice. I'll probably go crock pot next time though.