Spicy Pearl Barley and Lentil Soup
- Flavoured with Indian and European herbs and spices.
- A meal in itself, with barley and lentils!
- Serves 4 people.
Half a cup of pearl barley. Pearl barley is similar to pot barley, but has some of the husk polished off. You can use pot barley too, but it will take slightly longer to cook.
1 cup of lentils. Here, we used red split lentils, but you can also use chana dal.
1 teaspoon of asafoetida. Asafoetida is a misunderstood spice. It has a flavour similar to a cross between onions, garlic and herby sausages! It has a very strong flavour when raw, but once cooked, the aromas become mellow and it adds a real depth to any spicy meal.
A sprinkle of crushed chillies to add a little heat to the dish. Be as generous as you like, depending on taste.
1 teaspoon of cumin powder. Together with the asafoetida, this gives the soup an almost curry-like flavour, but it is still reassuringly soup-like.
A generous sprinkle of oregano. This offsets the spiciness a little with a little more herby goodness.
A generous sprinkle of parsley.
A sprinkle of cracked black pepper.
A drizzle of olive oil for cooking in the saucepan.
- 2 carrots, chopped.
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped.
- Soak the barley overnight.
- Find a medium-sized saucepan with a lid.
- Drizzle some olive oil into the saucepan and bring to a high heat.
- Fry the asafoetida in the olive oil for a few seconds.
- Immediately add the carrots and celery, and cook for around half a minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, together with around 3 pints of water.
- Bring the pan to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Put the lid on the pan, and simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve, and sprinkle a little more parsley over the top.