Barley & Lentil Soup Base

1/2 cuppearl barley
1/2 cuplentils (dried)
1onion, chopped
2celery or carrots, chopped (or both)
3 cupsFresh baby spinach
2 clovesgarlic, minced
1 1/2 tbspolive oil
1 tspground cumin
3 cupschicken broth
2 cupswater
1 1/4 cupcanned tomatoes (diced)
1 pinchsalt
ground pepper to taste


  1. Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and celery or carrots; mince the garlic. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion then sauté 3-4 min until soft. Add the celery/carrots, then sauté 5 min with occasional stirring, until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic and stir 1 min, then add the cumin and stir 1 min. Pour in the broth, water and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 min.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and lentils. Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 min.
  5. Add the chard to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.