Lentil-Barley Soup

I love lentils.  They’re so delicious and nutritious and versatile.  In this soup, they make a great one-pot meal.  This soup has your protein, whole grains, and vegetables all in one convenient pot.  Serve this with a side salad, your favorite bread, and/or some fruit and you’ve got yourself a feel-good meal.  My only qualm with this soup is that it doesn’t save as well as some.  After about 3 days, the barley and lentils kind of loose their texture and are a little too soft for my liking.  However, if you’re better at estimating serving sizes than I am, that won’t be too much of a problem and you can just scale it to however much you need.

Lentil-Barley SoupLentil Barley Soup

Serves 4

Adapted from Cooking Light (November 2010)

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced and cleaned
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup beer (optional, I didn’t use this, but I think it sounds tasty)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • salt, to taste

Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large pot), over medium-high heat.  Add leeks to the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots, celery, and parsnips, and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add vegetable broth and beer (or water if not using beer), barley, dill, pepper, thyme and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  Stir in lentils and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes, until lentils and barley are tender.

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