Barley does its wonderfully satisfying thickening to give this soup rib-stickability.
You can use pot or pearl barley here. Pot barley is less polished than pearl, leaving more of its exterior bran layer is present. As a result, it takes longer to cook – but in this recipe the instructions will work for either.
Use flat green or brown lentils, not the little red ones.
The ingredient list might look a bit long, but getting the soup ready is quick, and the ingredients are easy to find.
This thick soup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for several days before serving. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
- 2 tablespoons /30 ml olive oil
- 1 cup /250 ml finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon /5 ml salt
- 1-1/2 cups /375 ml diced carrots (approx 3 medium carrots)
- 1 cup /250 ml diced celery (approx 3 stalks of celery)
- 1/2 cup /125 ml barley
- 1 cup /250 ml green or brown lentils
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 796 ml)
- 4 cups /1 liter vegetable stock
- 2 cups /500 ml water
- 1/2 teaspoon /2.5 ml ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons /30 ml brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons /22.5 ml dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon /15 ml dried basil
- 1 teaspoon /5 ml dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon /5 ml ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon /1.25 ml chili pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add garlic and salt and continue cooking for 1 minute. Do not let onions or garlic brown. If they start to brown, turn down the heat.
Add carrots, celery, lentils and barley to pot. Stir to coat with onions. Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock and water. Stir to combine ingredients.
Stir in remaining ingredients (pepper, sugar, oregano, basil, thyme, sage and pepper flakes) and bring soup to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low or low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep soup from sticking.
Serve soup hot, or refrigerate or freeze until needed.