lentil and barley soup

The soup season is well and truly upon us and this one is my favourite. The one I make again and again in various permutations. The one I almost never get tired of eating for lunch or dinner. Goes particularly well with some crackers or dried toastie things with brie, (even the cheap safeway one which can be quite nice close to or just past its useby date). I like this soup best with the pieces cut small and not pureed. The family like it semi pureed which I do with the bamix. G insists on having sauteed mushrooms on top, because well, a meal isn't a meal unless it contains mushrooms.
Anyway here it is, it goes without saying that quantities are a guide.
lentil and barley soup
2 stalks of celery
1 brown onion
1 medium carrot
several good big strong cloves of garlic
1 cup brown lentils (no need for soaking)
1/2 cup of pearl barley
1 tin of diced italian tomatoes
a good handful of herbs from the garden if you have them, mostly parsley with some smaller amounts of thyme, rosemary, sage and some oregano
2lt of water
To make
Finely dice the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Saute in your soup pot with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Add the tomatoes, lentils, barley, water and half the herbs (if you have them) tied in a bouquet garni. Chop the rest of the herbs finely and set aside. Cook for about half an hour or until the barley is tender. Remove the bouquet garni, add the chopped herbs. Blend with the bamix if a blended soup is your preference (it does disguise the green vegetable factor - which in our house is a plus). Taste for seasoning and serve.


  1. I adore soup. I could live solely on soup. I have children who hate it. So no soup. But this, with this I am going to make soup and damn the rest of them.

  2. I made this soup yesterday and it is absolutely delicious, even without the mushroom. I am thinking of adding some dumplings. Thank you.

  3. Yum. I have this on the stovetop right now. Modifications: I used Australian tomatoes not Italian ;) and didn't have any celery so used the stalks of a bunch of pak choi and sliced the leaves in as added greenery because I can't seem to grow parsley in this hilltop garden.