1 cup diced carrots
1 large onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
NOTE: Trader Joe’s Mirepoix, found in the produce section, is a convenient shortcut!
2 cups cooked lentils (I got the precooked ones at Trader Joe’s, also in the produce section)
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
8 cups Vegetable Broth (I love “Better than Bouillon” for this)
1 large can organic diced tomatoes, with juices
1 ½ cups uncooked fast cook Barley (I used Quaker Fast cook Barley)
1 small bag of fresh spinach
1 cup 0% greek yogurt (optional)
1. Combine first five ingredients in large pan, cook until carrots are soft
2. Add lentils and 1 tsp Italian seasoning, cook for ten minutes, stirring often
3. Add vegetable broth and tomatoes with juice and bring soup to boil, and add barley and remaining 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, reduce to medium heat
4. Continue to simmer soup for approximately 30 minutes (the longer, the better), add salt and pepper to taste, turn off heat
5. The soup is ready to be served, but for added thickness and heartiness, stir in the yogurt and mix thoroughly. It really adds another layer to the taste.
6. Enjoy! This soup serves 6-8 people and can be easily frozen!