barley and lentil soup

Convenience is the name of the game these days...food has to be easy to prepare in a relatively short amount of time.  The more 'hands-off' time the better, because my hands are likely to be filled with a squirmy 10 month old.  When we were at the lake last weekend I was browsing a Real Simple magazine and found a few recipes that looked tasty and manageable.  My mom-in-law gave me the magazine to take home (Yay!  I didn't have to sneak it into my bag!...just kidding...kind of)  So I've planned to make a few of the new recipes for upcoming dinners.  

This soup was pretty darn easy to make.  I even managed to make it on an afternoon when Hannah wouldn't nap at all (sometimes I try to prep dinner stuff when she's sleeping).  It was quick to get all the ingredients merrily simmering away together and I just had to give it the occasional stir.  This soup is really thick and filling (I even added some additional water to thin it a bit).  The lentils kind of melt away to nothing, so the barley is good for some texture.  I liked the curry flavour but it was a tiny bit spicy, so if you don't want the heat, maybe reduce the amount of curry powder.  Hannah liked this soup too (I thickened hers a bit more and added a generous spoonful of sour cream), so that's a win!  Something the whole family can enjoy for dinner.  

Barley and Lentil Soup

  • 6 green onions/scallions, sliced (white parts only, save the tops)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • sour cream or plain yogurt to garnish

Heat a large pot over medium heat and cook the onions, garlic, ginger and olive oil until the onions are softened (3-4 minutes).  Add the curry powder and tomato paste and and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, lentils, barley, water and salt and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and barley are tender (about 35-45 minutes).  If the soup seems to thick you can add more water to loosen it up.  Serve topped with the reserved green onion tops and plain yogurt or sour cream.  

Recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine