(Recipe update--This is an old recipe with a new picture.) I love barley, lentils and mushrooms. And when they are all combined in a nice, warm soup with some fork-tender stew meat it's a perfect meal for February. Because you know there's going to be 6 more weeks of winter, right? Of course there is. I can't imagine it being any other way. I grew up in Montana for goodness sakes...let's just say that it was probably more like 16 more weeks of winter there. This is also a good recipe to make if you're going to be gone for several hours. The stew meat, barley and lentils all take a good amount of time to get tender...so don't be worried if you have to work. We served ours with some nice warm rolls and butter (not homemade...still can't get that right).
Makes 4 servings
Ideal slow cooker size: 4 quart
Cooking time: 6-8 hours on low
5 cups water
2 tsp Shirley J beef bouillon or 4 tsp regular bouillon granules
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup lentils
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion flakes (or 1/4 cup of diced fresh onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs stew meat (preferably made with a roast from the chuck)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (plus more, if needed)
1. Place water, bouillon, mushrooms, barley, lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaf, stew meat, thyme, basil and salt in the slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until lentils are cooked and stew meat is tender.
3. Add in the pepper and red wine vinegar. Add in more basil, thyme and salt to taste. Serve with warm bread.