Adapted from Cooking Matters for Parents
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 medium onions
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- Rinse, peel, and dice carrots and onions. Peel and mince garlic. Rinse and chop spinach.
- In a colander, rinse barley with cold water.
- In a large pot, add oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions. Cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, paprika, and cayenne pepper to pot. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add barley, water, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a colander, rinse lentils with cold water. Add lentils to pot, along with tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add spinach to soup and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Add salt and pepper and stir. If using Parmesan cheese, add now.
- If soup is too thick, add extra liquid (water or broth) to your taste.
- Beans and grains continue to absorb water when stored in the fridge.
- When reheating leftover soup, add water or broth as needed.
- Use kale, chard, or collard greens in place of spinach, if you like.
- For a more filling and healthier soup, add more colorful veggies.