Creamy Lentil, Barley and Mushroom Soup

creamy lentil, barley and mushroom soup

On a quest to satisfy my frequent craving for mushrooms, I wanted something earthy and balanced, all in one bowl. Another requirement was quick and easy. This bowl satisfied all of the above. Although more salads have been appearing on the menu lately, this spring has been a cold one and even if you happen to live in warmer climes, do give this a try because soups are not just for chilly times, but comforting all year round, especially so when you serve them with some homemade biscuits.

mushroom, lentil and barley soup

Creamy Lentil, Barley and Mushroom SoupCreamy Lentil, Barley and Mushroom Soup
Recipe by
Published on May 5, 2014

Earthy, fragrant and lightly spiced, this simple lentil, barley and mushroom soup cooked with a chili-onion-cashew paste is hearty, warming and nourishing

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes

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  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 to 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms (I used porcini)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz (250 g) white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 13 1/2 oz (400 mL) coconut milk
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Soak the cashews in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor. Add the chopped onion, garlic and chilies and blend until you have a thick paste, adding a teaspoon of water or more as needed.

  • Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and chop.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cashew paste and fry for a few minutes until fragrant, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent from sticking. Add the fresh and dried mushrooms, stir to coat, and continue frying for another few minutes.

  • Now add the tomatoes, basil, paprika, dill, cumin, coriander and chili flakes, and pour in the coconut milk. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the lentils and barley and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the lentils and barley are tender, adding more water as necessary.

  • Stir in the tamari near the end of the cooking time along with the garam masala and salt and black pepper. Simmer for another few minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings

mushroom lentil soup

More mushroom goodness to satisfy that fungus craving:
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Mushroom Risotto
Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup with Kidney Beans
Wild Mushroom Tapas Served on Crusty Bread with Goat Cheese

1 comment:

janet @ the taste space said...

Totally loving the Indian twist, Lisa! I have a bunch of gorgeous Asian mushrooms in my fridge but I don't think this is the soup for them. I will have to wait until I have the regular mushrooms, methinks. :)