Lentil and Wheatberry Soup

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Lentil and Wheatberry Soup

Hearty doesn't just mean filling. It means good for the heart and body, and this lentil and wheatberry recipe is both. Protein rich and high in fiber, this whole-grain extravaganza is herbaceous and flavorful. Put the wheatberries on to cook first and then prep the other ingredients. If you wish, you can top it with reduced-sodium feta crumbles and a few black olives.

Ingredients

½ cup red hard wheatberries, preferably Bob’s Red Mill, picked over for any debris and rinsed

4 quarts Roasted Vegetable Stock or store-bought vegetable or chicken broth (divided)

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion

3 large shallots

6 medium carrots

½ cup chopped celery stalks and leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup tomato paste, double concentrate

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves or ½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 to 4 fresh sage leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried sage

½ teaspoon dried savory

½ teaspoon ground celery salt, optional

⅛ teaspoon dried lavender, optional

2 cups small dried French green or brown lentils, picked over for any small rocks and rinsed

Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the wheatberries, 1½ quarts of the stock, and the garlic. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and keep covered, stirring occasionally. Cook for 40 to  45 minutes, until all or most of the liquid is absorbed. The wheatberries won’t be completely done yet, but they will continue cooking after they are added to the soup. Set aside.
  2. While the wheatberries are cooking, peel and dice the onion, shallots, carrots, and celery, keeping then separate, and set aside.
  3. In a large soup pot set over high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until they are translucent and beginning to brown. Add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3  minutes more, until they also become translucent and start to brown. Add the tomato paste and stir well, allowing it to cook for 1 minute more. Add the bay leaves, oregano, thyme, paprika, sage, savory, celery salt, and lavender, if using. Stir well and cook for 1 minute more; the mixture will become fragrant with herbs.
  4. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the cooked wheatberries and stir. Add the carrots, celery, and all of the remaining stock. With the pot set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer, uncover, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but not mushy.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce. Stir well and serve.

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