Lentils and barley make a great, nutritious base for a soup to which you can add whatever types of vegetables are in season. In the winter I use root vegetables; in the spring, greens and mushrooms.
1 Tbsp olive oil
8-10 garlic scapes, sliced in rounds (or 5-6 cloves garlic, minced)
1/4 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup brown lentils
Water and/or stock (vegetable or beef)
6-8 oz. spinach, stemmed and chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dry sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the scapes and mushrooms and saute until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add the barley and lentils and enough water or stock to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils and barley are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
When the barley and lentils are tender, add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the soy sauce and sherry, then salt and pepper to taste.
Serves about 6.