Winter is back again, and snow on the ground means that a hot bowl of soup is the perfect meal. Cooking in the kitchen seems to make my chilly apartment warmer (nevermind that I have the heat cranked up to 80 degrees). I thought I’d try this hearty soup to use up some of the barley that’s been sitting in my fridge forever.
I found my inspiration for this soup on AllReceipes.com but as usual I quickly deviated from the instructions to develop my own creation. This is a simple but hearty winter soup loaded with veggies and healthy grains (and my favorite legume- lentils <3).
Barley & Lentil Vegetable Soup
Makes 12 Servings
Time: Approx. 15 min prep, 45+ min cook time, 1 hr total
- In a large stockpot (and I do mean large!) begin heating your broth on medium high. I used about 3 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon powder mixed with the water- you can add more but that’s all I had left! I microwaved my water prior to adding to the stock pot to cut down on cooking time.
- Chop your vegetables so that they’re roughly the same size. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it here- it will shave off loads of prep time. I used my Cuisinart with the slicer blade to do the heavy lifting. The pieces were a little larger than I would have preferred if I
chopped by hand, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make when my stomach is grumbling. Also- feel free to substitute your favorite veggies for the ones listed above. The garlic, carrot, celery and onion are typically considered the core “aromatics”- so try to use them if you have them on hand. (I promise you won’t taste the onion).
- Add in the barley and rinsed lentils. Stir to mix the ingredients together. Your pot should be pretty much full now.
- Add the bay leaves and spices and stir. Since the recipe already called for curry, I thought an Indian flare might be interesting, so I added cumin and garam masala (a blend of spices that has a kind of sweetish spicy flavor).
- Let the soup cook on medium high until the mix comes to a boil, stirring occasionally- for about 15-20 minutes. Cover loosely. The barley and lentils will absorb the liquid and thicken the soup.
- Once the soup has reached a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium low. Simmer the soup for another 15-30 minutes, until the barley and lentils are tender and the soup has thickened.
- Let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a hearty crusty bread or cornbread. Enjoy!