Mom's Barley & Lentil Soup

By Chef Amanda DeLaura

As I’ve said before, my mom wasn’t exactly the best of cooks. That said, she did make really good soup. And this is one of my favorites of her winter recipes. It’s filling, relatively cheap, incredibly easy, and filled with three different complex carbohydrates. Cook yourself a bowl and bon appétit!

Makes 4 servings

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1 Tbsp olive oil 1 carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

1/2 tsp pink salt

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 lb spicy Italian chicken sausage (I buy mine from the butcher’s counter at Whole Foods)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp pink salt

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup black beans, rinsed

1 cup mixed lentils & farro* Juice from 1/2 lime

8 sprigs of cilantro, leaves removed from stem

1 cup baby spinach, optional


  1. To make the soup, heat a large cast iron Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil. Once heated and shimmering, add the prepared carrot, celery, and Immediately season with the initial half teaspoon of pink salt and let cook till the onions are softened and translucent, about three minutes, mixing occasionally.
  2. Once your onions are softened, add the teaspoon of chili powder and the half teaspoon of cumin. Stirring constantly, let the spices toast for about thirty seconds or until aromatic. Add the sausage and continue to cook, breaking the sausage apart with a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with the additional half teaspoon of black pepper and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Once the sausage is cooked, add the chopped tomatoes and four cups of Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for fifteen minutes.
  3. Before serving, add the black beans, lentils, and remove your pot from the heat and add the cilantro, juice, and spinach if desired. Enjoy immediately.

*NOTE: Whole Foods sells a great 8.8 oz prepared package of mixed lentils & farro. They’re super convenient as you don’t have to take the time or effort to cook the lentils and farro prior to adding them to the soup. You can find the link here.



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