In my last post I detailed a few of the nefarious finds we’ve made at our new house: the elaborate spider’s nest in the wall, the sketchy crow bar marks on the front door, the kitschy linoleum underlying the lurid teal carpet in the bedroom, both of which are now on their way to the municipal waste station. The weirdness of this flooring situation didn’t hit me until last night. Why was there linoleum in the bedroom to begin with – was that a thing in the late 1960s? And was covering it with teal carpet really the best solution? Oh well, there’s no accounting for taste. That being said, the creative mind responsible for said carpet would likely be equally offended by my design sense .
It’s not my intention to sound like a big old squeaky wheel about the house – believe me, I am more than relieved to be out of the RV even if it means dodging the odd Black Widow and seeing various shades of teal wherever I look. But there’s one last undesirable feature of the house I’d like to mention. The toilet. Yes, I bring up toilets way too often on this blog. But it’s worth mention that, in a cruel twist of fate – after 7 1/2 months of persevering with the clog-prone septic system in the RV – the toilet in the house is… well, I’ll be nice and say it has personality. Indeed, it makes disturbing gurgling sounds, its water surges threatening toward the rim, it flushes ‘normally’ only if you hold the lever down just so. I’m starting to think I must have been an incompetent plumber in a previous life, and am paying my due now via a series of faulty toilets.
The house has also coughed up some pretty cool booty (as in stuff, not the other kind). My SO has actually owned this house for several years, but was renting it to his sister until we moved in last month. Evidently he’d used the cupboards in the laundry room as a dumping ground for miscellaneous junk before he moved out years ago, because when I went to clean out said cupboards I unearthed – amongst several pieces of ancient Tupperware – an ice cream maker straight from the 1980s (remember when these were all the rage?), an unused wok (score) and bafflingly, a single leather glove – which made me wonder if I had a piece of forensic evidence on my hands.
Over the weekend we had a very welcome spate of warm, dry weather here in the Lower Mainland ,which prompted everyone to simultaneously shed their fleece and Gore-Tex and flee into the out-of-doors. This week, however, the Spring showers returned, putting me back in the mood for warm food. The seasonal ingredients that are beginning to make an appearance in grocery stores inspired me to whip up this easy springtime soup featuring French green lentils, pearl barley, sweet carrots, shallots, leeks, white mushrooms, spring onions, lemon and fresh basil! Apart from asparagus (which I’ve yet to come across unfortunately), nothing heralds the arrival of Spring like lemon and fresh herbs 🙂
Recipe: Springtime French Green Lentil and Pearl Barley Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1/2 cup french green lentils, uncooked
- 1/4 cup pearl barley, uncooked (omit or substitute lentils if you’re GF)
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 medium leek, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 small carrots, diced into 1/4″ thick medallions
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 5 cups vegetable stock (I used low sodium)
- 2 green onions, chopped (dark and light green parts only), plus a bit more for garnish
- 4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place dried lentils and barley in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes or until lentils and barley are tender, but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside until needed.
2. In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add shallots, leeks and carrots and saute until tender.
3. Add in garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and stir just until garlic is golden brown.
3. Add in cooked lentils, barley and zucchini and stir until everything is combined.
4. Add vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until zucchini is tender (or preferably longer to let flavours develop). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice, green onions, and basil.
7. Serve, topping each portions with chopped green onions and lemon zest. Eat!
You might also like:
- Roasted Vegetable Soup with Pearl Barley
- French Green Lentil and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Cilantro and Blue Cheese