The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Chipotle Bean & Barley Soup
 Plus a few Treats

This soup is a fall favorite here in The Ardent Epicure kitchen...
Talk about some serious comfort food...Rich, warm and fragrant.
This is a vegetarian version but can easily be adapted to vegan :)

Today we are going to have one of those "No Recipe"recipe posts.
But I will tell you that I did something a bit different with this soup.
Normally I use a combination of freshly ground herbs and fresh herbs 
from my garden...But since I received a wonderful treat of dried
 organic herb blends (we will talk about in a bit) I decided
 to experiment a bit.   

What you will need:
2 pounds of dried beans
1/2 cup pearl barley
4-6 large whole chipotle chilies, dried
2 tablespoons or so molasses, agave or honey
4 white tea bags
1 cup white wine, optional
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A mirepoix
*Planet Garlic herb and seasoning mix
*Celeman Celery Salt
*See notes on Blessed Botanicals
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
A couple tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, omit for vegan
4 quarts vegetable broth and a little water if needed

2 crockpots or slow cookers
(you can 1/2 ingredients for less soup)

Let's get cooking:
Soak beans overnight in a large bowl with water covering
 beans to at least an inch above. Rinse beans thoroughly.
Sauté mirepoix (onions, celery & carrots chopped) in
a bit of olive oil until onions are just translucent.
Split all ingredients between the two crockpots and
cook on medium hight to high for about 12 hours.
Note: You can use large soup posts if and adjust the
cooking time until beans are tender...

Garnish with grated cheese and serve with crusty bread

Now on to a few treats that I received during a couple of give aways...
We will start with some lovely organic spice mixes from Blessed Botanicals.
I received this great gift through a giveaway held by Sommer on
her lovely site A Spicy Perspective. Thank you again Sommer...

I received five different varieties to try out and used two of these blends
here in our soup. The other varieties I received included  Salt of the Earth,
Farm House Rub and Lazy River Rub :) The site also carries a wonderful
collection of loose teas that sound delightful. So stop over and check them out.

I also received some lovely treats from Ritual Waters.
Now although these are not to be put in our soup, they most
definitely qualify as treats :) These lovelies were my prize from
another giveaway held by Christiane of The Mom Chef.
I chose the Rosemary Lemon-grass Soap and I received two
additional surprises  Hazelnut Lip Balm and Citrus Spice Lotion Balm.
You will find a beautiful of natural Handmade Herbal Soaps
along with several other bath and body products.
Thank you again Christiane I absolutely love them :)

Coming up we will have more Awards to share~
Along with another treat I have received in the form of a CSN gift certificate. 
I know what your thinking...Who is she paying off and just how much ;)

Enjoy~ Alisha-Magic of Spice

This will be entered into  on our darling Ekat's Kitchen 

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