Winter Warmth Lentil, Barley, and Vegetable Stew
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 carrots halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 1/2 tsp.
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2/3 cup pearl or quick-cooking barley or use farro
- 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 15 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid, plus 1 can water
- 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5 - 6 oz. kale chopped, or use spinach or Swiss chard
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the onions and carrots. Sauté it until the onions just begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, and barley and sauté them for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, water, and lentils, cover and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer it for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.
- Stir in the salt and kale, cover and simmer it for 5 - 8 more minutes until the kale is wilted.
- Serve it immediately, topped at the table with the cheese, if desired, and seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Omit the oil. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker including the water, and with the exception of the cheese. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Top with the cheese at the table, if desired. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)