How to Make Lentil-Barley Soup
2. Go grocery shopping for weird new vegetables – leeks and parsnips. Leeks are like mutant green onions, and parsnips are like carrots in need of a tan, minus the sweet flavor.
3. Take said vegetables outside, photograph them, and let your neighbors judge you.
4. Cue up some hardcore beats – in my case, a Nine Inch Nails playlist. Because nothing screams Industrial Rock music like leeks. (?) (I don’t know either.)
5. Saute chopped leeks in EVOO for two minutes, then add 3 cups of vegetable broth. Decide to use vegetable stock instead of broth, because it has 1/3 the sodium of chicken broth. And that’s just ridiculous.
6. Realize you just destroyed the vegetarian-ness of your dish by adding chicken bouillon. Realized you’re serving chicken on the side so it doesn’t matter.
7. Decide to omit the beer. Because it’s YOUR kitchen and you do as you please. Substitute 3/4 cup water + 3/4 tsp bouillon granules for the beer.
8. Add in other veggies, which you washed, chopped, and stored this past weekend so they’d be ready to go, including: carrots, celery, and parsnips. Also add 2 bay leaves, dried thyme, black pepper, and barley.
9. Take an unfocused picture of fresh dill in front of your steaming pot and let your camera lens get foggy.
10. Chop up fresh dill, add to soup, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
11. Think about how good dill smells and get the urge to make Dilled Potato Salad again. Feel sad when you realize summer is over.
12. Check your lentils for pebbles. Seriously. Rinse them too.
13. Cheer up.
14. Add lentils to the soup, cover, and let simmer for 30 more minutes.
15. Laundry time. Go throw your pants in the washer and hope they shrink when they dry. ([EDIT (based on one sensitive reader's feedback)]: NOT the ones you’re currently wearing. Fools. It’s multi-tasking. Yes I can boil lentils and do laundry simulataneously. )
16. Ladel about 1/3 of the soup into your blender. Hold the cover on tight and back the hell up to avoid being scalded in case of a blender explosion. Blend that ish.
17. Take note that your soup now resembles vomit. Lovely.
18. Add pureed soup back to your pot, and let it simmer for a couple more minutes.
19. Ladel out a 300 calorie portion into a bowl (1 and 1/3 cups).
20. Photograph beneath less-than-ideal light. Again curse the fact that summer is over and your photography is suffering because of it.
21. Serve with a side of leftover chicken shawarma. Serve it on a bed of hummus instead of in wrap-fashion, because your pitas were growing mold. Top with tomatoes and pickles.
23. Think your soup is just okay, but not bad.
24. Think about what a weird dinner combination this is. Justify the combination by realizing that dill pickles complement the fresh dill in the soup. In your mind.
♪♫ Currently listening to: In The Backseat – Arcade Fire.
(25. Listen to this song all the way through for the first time, even though it’s been in your iTunes for years but you’ve never gotten past the 2:00 mark, and get teary-eyed. Think it’s pretty off-key sounding, but endearing. Own the fact that you are overly-emotional.)