Lentil, barley and lemon soup – aka ‘Insert expletive here’ COVID soup
What’s in a name?
My initial recipe title was along the lines of ‘go away COVID’ but in not so polite words (followed by ‘soup’).
I am glad I took to Google before posting. I had to Google if I was able to name a recipe with an expletive without getting banned. And to save you the keystrokes – you can’t, but the original name was far catchier…….just saying ????
As it turns out, one’s website can get locked down for that kind of language & I think I have had enough going on in my life since COVID greeted us.
I won’t poke the bear.
This soup is now named …..
Lentil, barley and lemon soup – aka ‘Insert expletive here’ COVID soup so please do choose your own adventure.
Have fun with it.
Call it cheap therapy.
You’re so welcome.
Happy New Year beautiful friends.
I hope you have had the chance to slow things down, breathe in some fresh and uninfected air.
Despite the uncertainty in the world right now, I am taking comfort in writing down new dreams and setting intentions for the moments & experiences I hope to enjoy this year. Places I want to visit (even if they are far closer to home than one had dreamed). Things I want to learn and grow from & with.
I hope there are many joyful moments for us all this year.
I wish you the very best also – always.
But despite trying to pop on every positivity cap that I own, the past week in Australia has felt very bleak. It is hard not to feel punched in the guts again and again.
My own world is hospitality.
Most of my friends and loved ones are in hospitality. It’s tough. Really tough.
Perhaps for my own good mental hygiene, I seem to be in a full-blown recipe development phase right now. That is a fairly consistent thing but…every year or two…..it’s a full-body takeover. Every recipe is a new one. Our home kitchen & the Relish Mama kitchen becomes a testing kitchen & I morph myself with the mad (although glorious) mad scientist from the muppets (this video is a treat for lovers of Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker).
My family, as it turns out, always seem to see this phase coming. They know when the last two cookbooks were brewing.
There are no complaints mind you. New dinners most nights are lovely for us all. And they don’t seem to ever complain about my standing on the table, camera in hand, to photograph what we are about to share. I am sure to remove my feet (and to be seated) before all tuck in. I guess they are so used to it that it might be weird if their Mum wasn’t standing on a table before a meal.
It appears that just like childbirth, one forgets the work and hours and pain of creating a cookbook. It appears that I might just be considering another. I am glad about that but there are no definitive plans. COVID seems to buckle the best of plans so for now, it is just lovely to continue to create & to cook & to share with you all here & see what unfolds.
I have also been creating lots of recipes exclusively for our RM Cooking club. Starting this wonderful club & community last year was an absolute highlight. So many wonderful people cooking up so many delicious dishes. As I have said, everyone loves new dinners – such a treat. The club solves cooking boredom and provides delicious recipes and more every month.
Speaking of new recipes. Here is one that is hot off the press today.
It is not all that common for me to create a new soup recipe in Summer. But, this Summer is not proving to be common or normal in any way know is it? This recipe is aptly titled ‘Insert expletive here’ COVID soup.
This recipe did have a different name but I am glad I took to Google before posting. I had to google if I was able to name a recipe with an expletive without getting banned. To save you the keystrokes – you can’t, but the original name was far catchier…….just saying ????
This is the nourishing soup to make for all the people you desperately want to hug right now but that you have to embrace through soup or phone calls instead.
This is a hug in a bowl kind-a soup with lentils, barley & finished with lemon and ……..it’s glorious.
This is for all those unwell & for all who are isolating at home. This is for all who can’t access rapid tests & for all who can’t visit the people, they need to and want to. This is for all those out of work or closing doors. It’s grim. I know. We’re feeling it everywhere & I am sorry.
So Dear COVID: It is time for you to go squat in a cactus patch. Truly…..It’s time. ????
The recipe for this soup is all yours to cook and enjoy for yourself, your own families, or for the people you desperately want to hold right now, but when a good soup will come a close second.
It is a pleasure to be sharing this recipe with you here.
I love hearing from you. So please do keep writing. I love hearing what you are cooking & enjoying. What is working? What is hopefully helping you?
Our website is getting an update and in the coming weeks, you will be able to comment directly here with ease. I can’t wait.
With love & wishing you happy days always,
For more great recipes like this one and lots of dinner inspiration, I would love to sign and send and copy of the Relish Mama cookbooks direct to your door. I hope you might find them to be your new best friend in the kitchen.
Lentil, barley and lemon soup – aka
‘Insert expletive here’ COVID soup
What goes in this delicious lentil, barley and lemon Soup?
Just good wholesome ingredients.
A few tips
- Don’t season the soup until the end of the cooking time. Salting lentils early can cause them to toughen.
- Cook the aromatics on low heat and slowly. These aromatics are the glorious base to this soup.
- Don’t miss out on the lemon to finish. It takes this wonderful soup to another level.
- If the soup becomes a little thick, it is easy to just add a little water until it is back to your desired consistency. You might find it thickens more in the fridge so add a little water when you are reheating.
- Leftovers will last for 3-5 days in the fridge. This soup also freezes wonderfully.
Lentil, barley and lemon soup – aka 'Insert expletive here' COVID soup
- A large saucepan
- Chopping board
- Cooks knife
- Wooden spoon
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion finely diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely diced or crushed
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 1 cup of sweet potato diced
- 1 cup of lentils washed and drained
- 1 cup of barley washed and drained
- ½ cup of tomato paste
- 1 x 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
- 1 long red chilli split through the centre and bruised gently but left in one piece
- 2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
- Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- The juice of 1 lemon
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring gently for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic & cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the spices and the sweet potato. Stir.
- Add the lentils, barley, tomato paste, tomatoes and chilli.
- Cover with stock and bring to the boil. Turn heat down, and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
- Season to taste before serving.
- If the soup becomes too thick, especially after refrigerating, you can always add a little water.
you can always add a little water.