Lentil & Barley Soup
with carrots, celery, and tomatoes
Lentil & Barley Soup:
- Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
- Onions - 1 , diced
- Carrots, medium-sized - 4 , chopped
- Celery - 2 ribs , chopped
- Lentils, French or green, uncooked - 2/3 cup
- Diced tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
- Bay leaves - 2
- Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
- Salt - 3/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Chicken stock - 6 cups
- Barley, hulled or pearled, uncooked - 1/2 cup
- Baby spinach - 4 oz
- Sour cream (opt) - 4 Tbsp
- Garlic / Onions / Carrots / Celery - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Lentils - Rinse.
- Tomatoes - Drain.
- If slow cooking - Combine garlic, onions, carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and broth in slow cooker (note: while you could cook barley with the rest of the ingredients, the result is much slimier, so we highly recommend cooking separately). Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3.5 to 4 hours. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Barley - Combine barley, water, and some salt in a saucepan, using a 1:3 barley to water ratio. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered until water has been mostly absorbed and barley is tender and chewy (~25 to 30 minutes for pearled barley or ~40 to 50 minutes for hulled barley). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- If not slow cooking - Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add some oil and then garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to heated oil. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes and then add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper and broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils and veggies are tender. Turn off heat.
- Remove bay leaf and stir in barley and spinach and season to taste with more salt, pepper, and spices. Divide into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream.