Whenever I see barley in a soup recipe I know immediately that this is going to be a fulfilling soup, perfect for the winter cold. And indeed, this soup didn't disappoint. It was very easy to make too, using ingredients I had left over from other cooking days. Apparently, this particular soup is in the Guardian's '10 best barley recipes' list.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic gloves, chopped
4cm piece of ginger (πιπερόριζα), peeled and grated
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Half tsp chilli powder
zest of 1 lime
200gr pearl barley (κριθάρι, όχι το ζυμαρικό)
150gr red lentils
400gr chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock (recipe here)
200gr Greek yoghurt
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, very thinly chopped
Juice of limes
1) Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the onion for 3 minutes, or until it starts to soften and take on some colour.
2) Add the garlic, ginger, spices and lime. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
3) Add the barley, red lentils and chopped tomatoes to the pan, stir well, cook for 1-2 minutes and then pour in the stock.
4) Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes, or until the lentils have almost disappeared into the soup and the barley is very tender. If it needs more water then add some.
5) Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until hot and fry the onions for 8-10 minutes or until dark golden and crisp. Make sure they don't burn. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
6) When the soup is cooked, add plenty of seasoning, stir in the yoghurt and allow to heat through. Do not boil!
7) Add the lime juice in the pan. Laddle into bowls and serve topped with the crisp onions.