I’m back in my kitchen! I didn’t intend to be away (from my blog) this long but with the holidays, complications with the Internet connection, as well as a change to a new computer, I haven’t been able to post for several weeks. I know you’ve been busy as well…but I’m glad to be back into a routine and look forward to sharing more easy, everyday recipes with you in 2012! If you have a special request–a recipe you’d like me to post with step-by-step photos, or a recipe you’d like to have me try–please send me a comment at the end of any post and I’ll do my best to accommodate your request.

Many Italians eat Lentil Soup on New Year’s Eve, thinking it brings them good luck.

We did our part, and ate our share of lentil soup on New Year’s Eve. And since eating healthily in the new year will bring you good health, if not good luck, I’d like to share one of my favorite lentil soup recipes with you. I’ve made this recipe perhaps more than any other in O Taste & See Some More! That’s because it’s tasty, healthy and inexpensive. I doubt you’ll find a better value meal–with more flavor–than Barley-Lentil Stew. Plus it’s quick and easy to make–and the flavors actually improve if you make it ahead! How good is that?

I begin by sauteing my three basic soup ingredients…diced onion, carrots and celery..in a little butter or oil.

These three “base players” in many homemade soups give flavor, fiber and color. I saute them just until they’re tender…

… then I add the barley and lentils…just 3/4 cup of each. I use pearl barley, not instant.

And then I add some water and/or broth (or bouillon cubes)…

Then I put the cover on, bring the stew to a boil and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s that easy!

One of the best things about this soup is the fact that it includes legumes (lentils) and whole grains (barley) so is a complete protein. I don’t know what barley and lentils cost where you live, but here in Italy it probably costs less than a euro to make a pot of this stew. I often serve it with some homemade bread on the side. And while it’s an everyday meal, I think it’s nice enough to serve to guests for lunch.

So if you’re wanting some good luck this year…or just trying to eat healthier on a budget–make up some Barley-Lentil Stew and enjoy!

Ciao!

Debbie

Barley-Lentil Stew

Yield: Serves 4-6

Barley-Lentil Stew

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. (55 g) butter or oil
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • 8 C. (2 liters) water (or 6 C./1.5 liters water and 2 C./500 ml canned chopped tomatoes)
  • 3/4 C. (175 g) barley or brown rice
  • 3/4 C. (175 g) dry lentils
  • 4-6 bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the celery,onion and carrots in butter. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 45-60 minutes.
  2. This is a very flexible recipe. I've sometimes used fennel instead of celery, often more carrots, or even added spinach or other dark, green leafy vegetables.
  3. This stew tastes even better the second day! The starch from the barley thickens the broth and the flavors blend overnight.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/barley-lentil-stew-step-by-step/

This recipe is on Page 47 of O Taste & See Some More!

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