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Step 1: Prep Work!

this sweet potato black bean barley soup is delicious and very fall-festive! I wanted something to come in from the cold to, with a fall flavor, and this was definitely one to fit the bill. this recipe was developed for my 1.5qt mini slow cooker. I prefer cooking the beans myself rather than using canned, so the mild prep work involved is about 20min of stirring beans and barley in separate pots over med-hi heat while I'm chopping veggies.

Step 2: Start Chopping

1/2 med sweet potato, peeled & cubed
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup barley
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T olive oil
1/2 carrot, grated or sliced thinly
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp basil
1 bouillon cube in 2 cups boiled water
1/4 cup tomato sauce
black pepper to taste

Step 3: Stir It Up, Little Darlin

drain the beans and barley, and combine all ingredients in the slow cooker.

Step 4: Simmer Down Now

give it time, and stir occasionally. the barley an beans have soaked a lot of water up but will continue to drink, so you'll need to add a bit of water a couple hours in.

Step 5: Give It Time

this is a great soup to get going when you have projects that beg attention! I accomplished a lot in six hours, and had a fantastic dish on the end of the day.

Step 6: Deep Breaths

nothing quite like the smell of a good soup to fill the house! I rushed the process just a tic by cooking it on high for the first two hours, and then kicked it down to low for a few.

Step 7: Time to Dish

one great thing about a slow cooker is that you can have it ready in or around a time that works for you. I wasn't quite hungry by the time this soup was ready, so it cooked another half hour while I went for a quick walk to get quarters for laundry. what a thing to come home to that fall soup waft from beyond the front door! I topped it off with some pepperjack and additional pepper & basil, served with rounds of homemade cardamom & black pepper wheat bread. give it a try! I hope you find it delectable :)

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