Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup

November/December 2010

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (255 votes)

Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.

"I wonder about the slow cooker version of this recipe - it indicates to use 2 cups of water instead of 9 cups. Can this be incorrect? It doesn't seem like nearly enough water to soften the beans. "
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup Recipe

28 Reviews for Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup

This soup is great!

After reading the reviews I adjusted the recipe accordingly and doubled the spices added 2 t Mexican oregano, chopped hot pepper (fresh or dried), and added more carrots and celery. I used 6 cups of water because I like a thick and hearty soup and call it a meal. I also added the barley in the last 1/2 hour of cooking because I like is chewy.

Easy & Inexpencive
Worst Soup Ever

Was extremely disappointed in this soup. It had no taste -it was like eating water with beans. I gave it as a give and even my friends said is was tasteless (how embarassing.) I usually find great delicious recipes from this magazine so I had no hesitation giving it as a gift without trying it out first...big mistake. The only thing that made the soup edible was adding tons of salsa. Did anyone in the test kitchen even try this soup before publishing it?

these beans are yummy

I bought dried beans for the first time to make this recipe. I like to play with the seasonings and adjust while it's simmering. I taste it every 30 min or so (when checking to see if I should add water) and add according to taste. I usually start out with low-sodium chicken stock, so more salt than the recipe lists is always needed. I love throwing everything in a pot and leaving it to simmer for a few hours. Easily freezes and reheats too.

Healthy, high fiber, easy
Not very good

My husband put a good tablespoon of hot sauce in his bowl so that he could try to enjoy this soup. I felt like it tasted like cardboard. Just not good at all- no flavor!

Comments (1)


aengland0048 wrote 3 years 25 weeks ago

I think that if this recipe (as is written) is not regarded as excellent by most people, it should be scrapped - & adjusted by the editors until they develop a superior soup. I don't want to spend time on a mediocre recipe, when there are plenty of better ones out there. Thanks for the warning. :-/

Excellent veggie slow cooker soup

My whole family, including my veggie husband, and my two kids, liked this soup for a warm, healthy February dinner. I didn't have dried beans so used canned. Based on other readers' reviews and my own slow cooker experience, I first sauteed the onion with some garlic and the one teaspoon of cumin and one of chili powder written in the recipe. Then, I put it in the slow cooker along with the cut up carrots, a diced red pepper, well-rinsed canned beans (I used about 2/3 cup of each kind), 3/4 cup barley, a can of no-salt added diced tomatoes with the liquid, and more cumin, chili powder (about another 2 -3 teaspoons at least!), a very small amount of kosher salt, dried oregano (also doubled), and pepper. I cooked in on low for 6 hours. Before serving, I added another two cups of water to make it more soup like. It smelled great, tasted good, and best of all had lots of good protein and veggies!

Healthful, easy, flavorful, can be made in slow cooker

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