Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)


Food for Life
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Recipe of the Week

October 25, 2016

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Cuchuco of Pearl Barley

Cuchuco of Pearl Barley

Colombians feast on this delicious creamy soup almost daily. Cuchuco is typically made of vegetables and corn, along with barley or wheat.

Makes 4 servings


1 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
10 cups vegetable broth or water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig cilantro
1 cup carrots, peeled, cut into cubes
2 cups potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup frozen peas (green peas)
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, diced


Heat a large pot over medium heat, add the onion and leave for 6 to 7 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent. If it starts to stick to the pan, add a little water or vegetable broth. Add the garlic and scallions and cook for 2 more minutes.

Pour barley into the pot, along with the vegetable broth, bay leaf, and cilantro and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add carrot and potato and cook for 8 minutes or until the potatoes, carrots, and barley are tender. Add the peas and boil gently for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with slices of avocado and tomato.

Note: If you cook the onion at a low temperature, it is not necessary to add oil. The onion will release its own liquid.

Source: Dora Stone, chef and photographer, founder of and

Per serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 350; Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Calories from Fat: 15%; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Protein: 9 g; Carbohydrates: 69 g; Sugar: 13 g; Fiber: 13 g; Sodium: 2,418 mg; Calcium: 73 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Vitamin C: 22 mg; Beta-Carotene: 3,855 mcg; Vitamin E: 1 mg; Potassium: 797 mg

Please feel free to tailor Physicians Committee recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.

  Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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Contact: 202-686-2210

Food for  Life

Food for Life is an award-winning Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine program designed by physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians that offers cancer, diabetes, and kids classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. Each class includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote health, along with cooking demonstrations of simple and nutritious recipes that can be recreated easily at home. Learn more here >>

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