A thick and hearty red lentil soup. Barley adds a rich nutlike flavour and an appealing chewy texture. Red lentils add a sweet taste and help thicken the soup. This soup is prefect as a main dish, either served on its own or with biscuits or soda bread.
My mom made this soup for us when we were down for a visit over the summer. I know, soup in summer?? but wait until you try it! One bite in and you’ll be hooked. Not only does the soup taste amazing, it is absolutely packed with all things good. Lentils, barley, onion, garlic, carrots, spinach, and tomatoes all pack a nutritional punch.
Lentils are an excellent source for protein, fibre, iron, and folate. Red lentils are split brown lentils that have been de-husked so they are faster cooking then brown or green lentils. They cook up nice and sweet and turn mushy to add a thickness to the soup.
Barley is a whole grain food also an excellent source of fibre and helps lower cholesterol. Barley adds a nice chewy texture and a nutty flavour to the soup.
Okay enough science talk, what’s just as important is that this soup tastes great. But don’t take my word for it, make some tonight and see for yourself!
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1/3 cup pot barley, rinsed
- 10 cups beef broth
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 oz/798 ml) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- Combine lentils, barley, and beef broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until to longer pink.
- Add the beef, and all other ingredients to the pot with the lentils and barley. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add spinach to wilt.
- Remove bay leaf and serve.