A soup when you want a hearty one pot meal . All the fresh vegetables are complemented very well with red lentils . I use barley for it's health promoting benefits as well as for a nice starchy bite , almost like a meaty pasta . In this soup all the elements seem to complement each other so well , the colorful vegetables have been cooked till very soft but not mushy , barley is another soft bite while the lentils provide the base . Tempered with a lot of garlic , the way i love all my lentil soups .
red lentils 2 tbsp
pearl barley 2 tbsp
baby bok choy 4 heads
celery stalk1 no.
spring onion bulbs 2 nos.
carrots 2 nos.
garlic cloves 8-10 chopped finely ( small Indian cloves)
finely chopped ginger 2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
butter 1 tbsp
Wash the red lentils and keep aside.
Chop all the vegetables in small pieces and keep aside.
Heat butter in a pan and throw in the cumin seeds and garlic . Wait till both become brownish , add the ginger followed by chopped vegetables . Toss and stir fry for a few seconds .
Add the washed red lentils , barley , salt and pepper . Add water ( about 500 ml ) and turmeric powder , cover to cook on medium heat till the lentils are mushy and soft and barley is cooked and plump . Adjust water to make it desirable consistency , adjust seasonings too.
I have not added any chillies to the soup , it's just the ginger and black pepper for heat and it was great this way . All the flavors of the fresh vegetables were intact and there was just enough heat for the soup , the flavor of garlic was awesome.
No garnish is required when there is great color naturally in the soup . Parsley or cilantro would be great of you feel like a fresh green kick to it.