Mushroom barley risotto with spinach & lentils

December 19, 2013 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

mushroom barley2
Edmonton, Victoria, Ottawa, Kamloops, Nanaimo. I’ve been travelling a ton over the past couple of months. Not always to the most exotic places, but each has its own merits and it is always fun to travel for work. There are always moments of discovery – a great bookshop, an unexpected side journey, conversations with seldom-seen colleagues, a perfect cafe.

The latter is what I found in Kamloops at Hello Toast. Everything about it was great – the service, the food, the cozy, funky atmosphere. I  had a thick mushroom barley soup with buttered toast and salad. It was exactly what I wanted for lunch on a chilly day. As soon as I had my first spoonful of soup, I thought, I have to make this at home! The recipe below is my version of those flavours, with lentils and spinach added in for extra protein and vitamins.

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used baby portobello mushrooms)
1/2 cup du Puy lentils (French lentils)
3/4 cup barley
1 tablespoon each thyme and oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh ground pepper
4-5 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in vegetable oil until the onions are soft and starting to carmelize. Add in the lentils, barley, herbs and vegetable stock or water. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. If you want a “soupier” dish, add more water at this stage. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach. Serve with salad and toast for a delicious, warming lunch or dinner.


Entry filed under: Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Vegan. Tags: , , , , , , .

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