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Mexican–Jewish Barley Pozole

“I created this soup because it represents my heritage, which is Jewish, Mexican, and Eastern European,” says Clara. “I first made this recipe when my grandmother came to visit from Mexico. She was convinced the ingredients wouldn’t go well together, but the result was delicious. This soup combines vegetable barley soup, common to Jewish cooking, with Mexican pozole. I also really love soup.” - Clara Aizenman, Age 11, Rhode Island

Makes 4 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:

  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 large radishes, sliced very thinly
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • ¼ onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • Hot sauce or ground dried chile peppers


  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and zucchini and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the chicken and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until light brown and cooked through. Add the chicken broth, barley, hominy, and oregano, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the barley is soft. If the soup is too thick or there isn’t enough liquid, add 1 more cup of water or chicken broth.
  2. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Place the garnishes on small serving plates in the middle of the table. Squeeze the juice from one lime wedge into each soup bowl. Each person can sprinkle whatever garnishes they choose onto their soup as desired. 

423 calories; 18g fat; 50g carbohydrates; 20g protein

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