Mexican Squash And Barley Soup

My husband LOVES soup.  So while he’s been hard at work today, I have been devising this soup (This sounds so sexist doesn’t it? While he’s hard at work the goodly wife is quietly at home preparing soup for her man?)  Well ask anyone,who knows me, I’m not quiet, and the goodly part, well I don’t know… nevertheless, he’s been on my mind on this Monday after Thanksgiving, because I really do appreciate all that he does.

This is a vegetarian soup, which is thick, slightly spicy and a great dinner on a chilly fall night.  The touch of barley makes it the perfect comfort food, and it’s simple to make.  The recipe calls for a bit of flour and sour cream, however, if you want to make it gluten-free and vegan, eliminate either or both of these ingredients.  The soup will still be as flavorful because Mexican Squash and Pasilla Peppers make a beautiful marriage, and it will be nice and thick thanks to the barley.

I’m used to cooking for large crowds, so this Recipe serves 12,  but if you are cooking for 2 or 6 cut the quantities down proportionately, and it will still work beautifully.

Mexican Squash And Barley Soup

  • 1 or up to 4 fresh Pasilla/Poblano Chili Peppers (depending on how spicy you like your food) roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 5-6 Mexican Squash  (the light green ones) cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 white onion halved and sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions sliced including the stems
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon flour dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chicken (Parve=vegetarian) or vegetable bouillon
  • 1 cup pearl barley thoroughly rinsed
  • sour cream (optional)
  • sliced scallions and parsley for  garnish


Prepare the Pasilla Peppers as indicated above and set aside.  Boil the cut up squash for 5 minutes just to soften it up.  Heat the canola oil in a wide saucepan over medium/high heat.   Add the sliced onion, stir it for about 2 minutes and allow  it to become translucent.  Add the  scallion stems, (preserve the white part of the scallions for the garnish), 1/2 of the parsley (the other half will be for garnish as well), and garlic, and stir for another 2 minutes.   Add the cut up squash and then the diced Pasilla Peppers.  Season with the salt, pepper and garlic powder, stir, and then add 1 cup of water into which you have dissolved the flour.  (If you want the make this recipe gluten-free, skip the flour…the barley will thicken the soup plenty).

Place the vegetables from the saucepan into the food processor for about one minute, create a smooth puree, and set aside.

In a medium-sized pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add the bouillon.  When it has dissolved, add the vegetable puree from the food processor,  stir it well and allow it to boil for 5 minutes.  Add the cup of barley and allow it to simmer covered for about 45 minutes, or until the barley has softened.

Place the soup in a serving bowl and garnish with a touch of sour cream, the sliced scallions and a bit of parsley.

Serve very hot and enjoy!

12 responses

  1. The soup tasted even better the next day! No sour cream needed. And thanks for taking the mystery out of chicken fajitas! am enjoying getting to know your family, also.

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