Today I am sharing my Lentil Barley Stew recipe. This is post number three in my series on my favorite soups. I hope you are enjoying it and that you are trying some of these or at least saving them for cooler days. While it is true that we have made soup a few times this fall, I may have possibly jumped on the “I am ready for soup every day” cry a little too soon. One cold rainy day and I was ready to make soup daily for the rest of fall. The weather has warmed up a few times since then. Still, it is a good thing to have a pot of something warm and hardy simmering on the back burner on a cool fall day and many more cool days are coming.
Making this soup always reminds me of my friend Jan. I first had this soup at her house 20 something years ago. We were both living in Maine, but many miles from one another. We had just met at a family Bible conference. They invited us to spend a weekend at their home so that our families could get acquainted . Her teenage sons were the cooks and made this soup for supper the night we arrived. I was impressed. We fell in love with this simple, but hardy soup, and have made it many times since over the years.
Lentils, unlike many other legumes, do not need to be soaked before cooking. Just rinse and look them over to remove any small rocks or debris. If you wish to soak them, cover them with water and let them sit overnight. They cook quickly (about 20 minutes) and provide vitamins and minerals in generous portions. They are high in fibre and low in calories. Did I mention They taste great and are very filling?
Barley, also, is at worth mentioning. In addition to it’s nutty taste and chewy texture, it is a super boost to your vitality. Barley helps stabilize blood sugar, fights heart disease, promotes intestinal health and protects against cancer. It boasts of being one of highest fiber, lowest calorie grains around. We too often overlook this valuable grain.
On to the soup.
This soup is really easy and inexpensive to make. It is great with homemade cornbread and butter or a grilled cheese sandwich.
First, saute celery and onion in a quarter cup of butter. Add 6 cups of water and 3/4 cups of lentils. cook all this for 20 minutes. Add a quart of your own tomatoes or a large can of stewed tomatoes. Then 3/4 c. barley, 2 tsp. salt, a little pepper, and some garlic. Cook all this goodness for 45-60 min. Add 1/2 cup shredded carrots. Cook for 5 more minutes and serve.
I hope you enjoy this nourishing soup as much as we have. Leave me a comment and let me know if you cook with barley or lentils.
This recipe was first shared in the cookbook, “More With Less,” Printed in 1976. (author Doris Janzen Longacre). (Now out of print) It is a Mennonite cookbook that shares about our responsibility to exercise good stewardship in all areas of life, but particularly in the are of food consumption.