Bean and Barley Chili

From the Taste for Life test kitchen

1-2 hours prep time | Serves 10

What You Need:

  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 4 c (1 32-oz box) low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 7-oz can chopped green chilies with juice
  • 11/2 Tbsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 15-oz cans of beans, mixed and matched (we used red kidney, black, and white Northern beans) *see note for alternate method with dry beans
  • 1 c frozen corn, partially thawed (optional)
  • Chopped onion (optional)
  • 2 avocadoes, cut in chunks and tossed with lemon juice (optional)

What You Do:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring barley and 3 cups of the broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barley is just tender. There may still be unabsorbed liquid. Be sure to watch the pot; cook times can vary drastically (ours took a 1/2 hour, while the package directions recommended 1 1/4 hours).
  2. Meanwhile, add olive oil and garlic to a medium stock pot; saute quickly over medium-low heat just until you begin to smell the garlic cooking.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except the barley, beans, and corn. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the barley and stock mixture, beans, and corn. Return to a boil over high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to low/medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until chili is slightly thickened (about five minutes).
  6. Serve warm, garnished with onion and avocado, if using.

* To use dry beans, boil about 1 1/2 cups of dry, mixed and matched beans for 20 minutes a day before you plan to serve it. Let soak them soak in water double the depth of the beans overnight, changing water after they’ve boiled and another time during the soak if you have the chance. Cook beans for another 20 minutes just before adding to the chili during step 4.


Nutritional Breakdown

Great source of manganese! For 358 calories, you get 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber!