It is wintertime and I love to make and eat soup at this time of year. Now, there are other soups besides gumbo, shrimp stew, and crab bisque, believe it or not. This soup has an Indian flair to it with the inclusion of the cilantro and curry powder, similar to a Dal.
Lentil and barley can have a positive effect on your health as they are great sources of fiber. Your vegetarian friends will love it, without the bouillon cube of course. I dedicate this to my Indian "family" members Mangesh Desai and his beautiful sister Prachi Desai. I have mentioned Mangesh before but his gorgeous sister, whom I've never met, has become a wonderful long distance friend. The are originally from Mumbai, but Prachi now lives in London. Mangesh is a successful variety television producer in Mumbai. He calls me his "American Dad".
Curried Lentil and Barley Soup
1 cup lentils
¾ cup barley (Quaker Oats Medium)
½ large onion (diced)
2 ribs of celery (diced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 8 oz. can Rotel (diced tomatoes and peppers)
2 tbs Curry powder
1 Chicken bouillon cube (opt.)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
½ tbs salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs fresh cilantro
2 tbs green onions (sliced thin)
3 tbs oil (any type)
10 - 12 cups water
In one pot on MED/HI, boil 4 cups of water, once boiling add the barley and stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
In another pot on MED/HI heat the oil. Saute the onions, garlic, and celery until wilted. Add all spices, herbs and stir well. Rinse the lentils in water a couple of times and then add to the pot. Stir until the lentils are incorporated into the mix, then add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil for about 10 mins.
Dissolve the bouillon cube in 2 cups of boiling water.
Once the barley has nearly absorbed the water add it into the lentil mix. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, the bouillon, and check the seasonings and consistency of the soup, add a cup of water if you'd like. Bring all to a boil for 10 mins. and turn down to MED/LO. Simmer about and hour or until lentils and barley are soft and tender.
This, like gumbo is much thicker and tastier the next day.