Wednesday, February 11, 2009

BARLEY AND LENTIL SOUP WITH SWISS CHARD

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions and/or leeks
1 1/2 cups diced peeled carrots
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
10 cups (or more) low-salt chicken or vegetable broth (I used 6 chicken, 4 veg)
2/3 cup pearl barley
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2/3 cup dried lentils*

I bunch Swiss chard, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried – I actually forgot this!)

Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; sauté until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Mix in cumin; stir 30 seconds. Add 10 cups broth and barley; bring to boil. Reduce heat; partially cover and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice and lentils; cover and simmer until barley and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.*
Add chard to soup; cover and simmer until chard is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in dill. Season soup with salt and pepper. Thin with more broth, if desired.

*I used fresh lentils (from the bean lady at the VA Ave. FM) and reduced this cooking time to 10 minutes. The barley came out a bit chewy, but I liked it that way.

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