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Rubino Estates Winery
January 15, 2021 | Recipes & Pairings | Rubino Estates Winery

Spicy Grain Soup for International Hot & Spicy Food Day

January 16th is International Hot and Spicy Food Day, so we're excited to turn up the heat! You can find spicy meals in nearly every cuisine around to world, and we think that's worth celebrating. Since soup is the perfect dinner for chilly days, we're eyeing this recipe for Spicy Grain Soup. Packed with flavor, vegetables, and a bit of heat, this healthy comfort food is a wintertime winner. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking; this recipe is delicious when mellow and with kick. 


  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 3 ancho or dried mulato chiles
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 6 sprigs and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Prep your ingredients. Drain and rinse the black beans thoroughly. Stem and seed the chiles and break into 2-inch pieces. Thinly slice the onion and shiitake caps. Finely dice the carrot, zucchini, and parsnip. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover. 
  3. In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.
  4. In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
  5. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan. 
  6. Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.

Recipe photo credit: Frances Janisch
Recipe originally from Food and Wine

We hope we've inspired you to savor the burn of your favorite hot and spicy meals. If you make this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Tag us on social media @rubinoestates with your results. Salute!

If you're looking to balance out your spicy soup with something creamy and lightly sweet, we recommend our Landmark Chardonnay, which just scored 92 points with Wine Enthusiast. 


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