Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Backwards Barley, Pea and Lentil Soup

We're in the thick of the Christmas planning season here, kids, and there doesn't seem to be much time to come up for air. Because we have been beset with illness this month, we got a late start, but truthfully I never really feel prepared or organized anyway this time of year and something invariably falls through the cracks, but when all is said and done, every year we have fond memories of the season and whatever fell through gets forgotten. This is the perspective of a mid-lifer. I understand that, while I may have lofty aspirations, none of it matters as much as good health and peace of mind.

I was craving homemade soup yesterday, and I wanted to try several protein sources in the same soup. Christmas shopping ran late for me, and by the time I made it back home everyone was hungry. So I made the soup "backwards" putting the longest-cooking parts in first, and then prepping the veggies while the barley and legumes were getting a headstart. Here's the recipe:

Backwards Barley, Pea and Lentil Soup
7 c. broth or water with bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. yellow split peas
1/2 c. pearl barley
1/2 c. green lentils
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1/4 c. sherry

Bring broth, peas, barley and olive oil to a boil, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prep other ingredients (and clean up the kitchen from breakfast and lunch if you are me during this time of year -- put in a load of laundry too!) After 10 minutes, add lentils and vegetables except spinach, stir and turn heat back up to high to bring it back to a rapid simmer. Once the simmer is re-achieved, lower heat, cover and cook an additional 30 minutes. Finish soup by stirring in spinach and sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Last night I found the soup to be a little salty for my taste, since I am very sensitive to salt these days, but my husband said it was perfect. I may add one less bouillon cube next time. I had used 3 bouillon cubes for 7 cups of water. But today for lunch, once the broth had been fully absorbed by the barley, the salt level was just right for me. I really loved my bowlful on this grey day, with crusty eziekiel "buttered" toast torn into pieces and dunked into the healthy soup. Mmmm!

I'm now fortified to deck my halls with boughs of holly, and prep our downstairs pub for a Christmas party tomorrow. Stay tuned for photos from the event!

No comments:

Post a Comment