Lentil beans are so nutritious, so good for a healthy brain and body. Because of that, I am always trying new ways to cook them. So when I saw a recipe that included lentils and barley too, I knew I had to try my own variation.
Use a vegetarian bouillon cube to adhere to a vegan dish. If you aren’t concerned with that you could use beef or chicken bouillon as well.
The recipe can be cooked stove top too, simmering until the dried beans soften. Soup is so perfect for a crock pot that I chose to let it simmer all day.
The barley gives it a great texture, the vegetables add flavor. It is a very tasty vegetarian comfort soup, rich and satisfying. I added some Cajun spice at the end for a little heat. So feel free to add tabasco or hot sauce as you like.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 2 cups lentil beans
- 1 cup barley
- 12 cups water
- 3 cups mushrooms, sliced or chopped
- 3 to 4 cups spinach
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced or chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced or chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun spice
- Rinse lentil beans thoroughly.
- Prep all the vegetables and assemble ingredients.
- Heat oil in a skillet.
- Saute garlic, onions, carrots and celery for 3 minutes.
- Add optional wine and the herbs, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring and scraping pan often.
- In slow cooker, combine beans, barley, and the remaining ingredients except the spinach.
- Pour in the sautéed vegetables.
- Stir to blend, then cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, on high for 4 to 5 hours.
- Ten minutes before serving, stir in the spinach and the cajun spice.
You can save on clean up if you have a slow cooker that browns too. One of the best things about crock pot cooking is having the entire meal in one dish. Easier clean up that way. Which is why I recommend the slow cookers below. The Cuisinart is my favorite, since it is multi use. Steam, brown and slow cook. Multi function means even better use of a single appliance.