– Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add red peppers, yellow peppers, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, and corn. Stir to coat veggies with oil then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Uncover pot and cook, stirring occasionally until veggies are soft and slightly brown.– Add tomato paste, thyme, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to the vegetable mixture. Stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
– Add stock or broth and stir to combine and release any caramelized dark brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in the barley and add the cilantro sprigs.– Bring soup mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is completely cooked.
– Uncover and let soup simmer another 15 minutes.– Turn off heat, remove cilantro sprigs and stir in the fresh spinach.– Serve as is, or top with parmesan cheese, chopped cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime juice.