Lentil and Barley Soup
The autumnal recipes continue
I've been taking a break from events and happenings in the Queen City to spend a little R&R at home. More importantly, I decided that the recent cold snap prompted the start of soup season (insert celebratory musical sounds here). However, because I am too cheap to go to the store and wanted to force myself to use what I had on hand, I was definitely going to be experiencing a frugal soup adventure. Enter the lentils and barley I found in the back of my pantry. I think they may have come from Lynchburg … like over a year ago … stop judging me.
Now listen, I'm not one to snub meat and fresh veggies and all the other accoutrements that make up an amazing soup — BUT I also wanted to use what I had on hand. Most of these ingredients are pantry staples, and if you don't have them on hand, you can get them for next to nothing. I kind of, sort of, made this up and I must say, I think the finished product is pretty darn good. Note: For leftovers, you may need to add a little extra chicken broth or water since the grains will continue to absorb any liquid when reheating. This soup also freezes very well.
Lentil and Barley soup
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup barley
- 8-9 cups chicken or vegetable broth (add more if necessary)
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsps garam masala
- 2 tbsps cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the garlic, celery, carrots and onion and saute over medium-high heat until veggies are soft and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Cover the pot and simmer over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occassionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Add more liquid if necessary or if you prefer a thinner soup. Soup is done when lentils and barley are tender. Serve this up with some sliced ciabatta bread and sprinkled with a little fresh parsley.
Enjoy this autumnal delight. If it gets warm again and soup season has to be put on haitus, I'm going to freak out.