Use lentils instead of Barley and you have yourself a fine lentil soup as they two have very similar cooking times (like, kind of exactly the same according to the Shop 'n Save packages)
Barley Soup is more than just a pleasing bowl of hot goodness for a cold winters day - its actually a necessity. That is scientific fact. If you do not eat this soup on cold winter days, you will likely not survive the winter.
Be glad I warned you.
Dry barley (or lentils for that matter) are super, super cheap and very healthy.
I have band practice in like a half an hour so I need to wrap this up faster than I'd like. Sorry.
JASON'S BARLEY (or lentil) SOUP - HELL YEAH
What you'll need:
2-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large onion (yellow or red or whatever you have) sliced and diced.
2 large carrots chopped up.
2 large celery stalks chopped up.
4 cloves of garlic minced.
8 cups of water
Vegetable Bouillon (read package to discern how many you use in 8 cups of water)
4 tablespoons of tomato paste (or if you're feeling saucy, 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice)
2 generous pinches of dried Thyme crushed with your fingers
1 tspn of oregano
1 tsp basil
2 large bayleaves
black pepper to taste (which for me is like 2 tablespoons but you dont have to do that.)
1 cup dry Barley (or lentils)
(optional: 3 tablespoons of lemon juice)
How you do this thing:
1. Preheat stock pot, heat oil, Saute the onion, celery and carrot for 6 or 7 minutes in oil.
2. Add garlic and saute another minute.
3. Add herbs except for bayleaves and saute for another minute
4. Add water, bring to a simmer, add bouillon, bay leaves and tomato paste and stir to dissolve everything
5. Add dry barley (or lentils) and simmer on medium for 45 minutes stirring often scraping down sides.
6. Add lemon juice right at the end (if using) and mix it well and then eat until your stomach nearly bursts.
Below is an inspirational phot of the barley soup while it was simmering this morning (soup for breakfast, what!?)
This is a picture of a spoonful of that soup when it was done: