Step 1: What You'll Need:
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 bell peppers, diced (I used red and yellow)
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tbsp. fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 5 c. beef broth
- 1-796ml(28 oz.) can plum tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 c. pearl barley
- 1 c. small lentils(brown or orange)
- grated cheese, like mozzarella
- hot sauce or smoky chipotle sauce
Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients
In one bowl, put the onions and garlic, and have the ground beef close by.
In one bowl, put the carrots, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and oregano.
In a large measuring pitcher, mix up the broth, if making it from powder.Add the tomato paste. Open the canned tomatoes and chop them up using a pair of kitchen shears(Tip: this is the easiest and cleanest way to chop canned tomatoes).
In one bowl, mix together the lentil and barley.
Now the cooking process becomes that much easier!
Step 3: Sauteing the Ingredients
Add carrots, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and oregano. Cook until the peppers just soften, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Creating the Soup
Stir in barley and lentils.
Step 5: Simmering...
Or better yet, make some olive foccacia to accompany your simmering soup!
Step 6: Serve It Up!
Step 7: Leftovers
This soup makes great leftovers, if you know how to do it properly. Lentils and barley are kind of like pasta - they will continue to absorb liquid, even after the cooking process is over. If you divide up your soup as is, when you come back for leftovers later, you find yourself with something resembling a stew or even a risotto. Here's the trick:
Divide the soup between containers, filling only 3/4 full. Now mix up a batch of beef broth, and top up the containers with liquid. The extra broth will ensure that tomorrow, your soup will still look like soup.
Let the leftovers cool a little before putting the lids on the containers and storing them in the fridge.