Today’s recipe for vegan barley soup with lentils and potatoes comes in very handy on those days when you’re pressed for time to cook dinner, and yet you’re in the mood for a warm, filling plant based soup that tastes like you had to put a lot of effort into it.
I tend to use lentils in soups quite often because they are filling and yet relatively quick-cooking – other kinds of legumes are usually high-maintenance.
In the past, I’ve made similar soups with only lentils and some kind of grain, usually brown rice, farro or barley. However, adding tomatoes to my vegan barley soup yields a much tastier broth in my opinion, and potatoes add to the heartiness of the soup.
I used regular potatoes for this soup, but you can use cubed sweet potatoes as well. Regular white potatoes tend to take a while to cook through, so I add them at the same time as lentils and barley.
Alternatively, you can microwave cubed and rinsed potatoes for 1:30 min on high and add them 10 min after you put lentils and barley into the soup. Microwaving potatoes softens them and helps them cook through quicker in your soups and stews.
Another hack: use your own veggie broth! My tutorial for homemade veggie broth will show you an easy and cheap way to always have vegetable broth on hand.
Recently I’ve been adding mushrooms to almost every warm meal I eat after I read that mushrooms have one of the highest nutrient-per-calorie density out of all foods.
They turn out to be especially good for women’s health. Although the recipe for this soup doesn’t call for mushrooms, I added a couple of chopped-up raw crimini mushrooms to my bowl (not pictured).
Don’t like raw mushrooms? You can quickly sautée them and then add to your serving of soup. And, of course, some chopped-up greens like scallions always go well with a hot bowl of soup!
Question for you: What’s your favorite soup during the cold time of the year?
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