Lentil Wheat Berry Soup with Herb Pistou

February 29, 2012

Twice a month, there is an after school garden work party at my daughter’s school.  Parents and their preschool age children gather to weed, seed, and harvest the bounty.  It is a delight to participate in this effort, a joy to see these young children so excited to work with AND eat fresh vegetables, but a bear to come home late with two overtired and hungry kids of my own.  Thank goodness for the crock pot.  With only 10 or 15 minutes of prep the night before, a delicious dinner can be ready to serve when I return home.

Lentil Wheat Berry Soup with Herb Pistou is a crock pot soup that satisfies on so many levels.  The earthiness of the lentils blend with the chewiness of the wheat berries.  The pork infuses a richness into the flavorful broth.  These ingredients stew in the crock pot all day and provide a guarantee that your house will smell divine when you return home, tired and weary from the day.  The herb pistou solves the one hangup I have with crock pot cooking.  While cooking food all day ensures tenderness and rich flavors, there is a tendency for colors and flavors to become too melded and for the heartiness to become dull or bland.  Inspired by Blue Kale Road’s Spicy Israeli Zhoug, I came up with a last minute swirl of fresh herbs and acidic lemon to brighten the entire soup.  Serve this soup with a crunchy salad and fresh bread.  It freezes and reheats beautifully.

Lentil Wheat Berry Soup with Herb Pistou

serves 8 as a main course

2 cups green lentils (the flat ones)

1 cup wheat berries

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery ribs, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 bay leaf

pork bones (optional but recommended- see note)

2 quarts chicken broth or water

salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Alternatively, combine ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the lentils and wheat berries are tender.  To serve, drizzle with Herb Pistou.

Note: Tossing in a rib or two or a couple of neck bones makes a tremendous impact on the soup. I sometimes save bones from pork chops. Otherwise, ask your butcher. If you opt for smoked meat such as hocks, omit the herb pistou and use a splash of balsamic vinegar on top instead.

Herb Pistou

1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro

1/2 cup loosely packed parsley

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Print this recipe:  Lentil Wheat Berry Soup with Herb Pistou

You may also like:

Lentil Soup with Yams

Lentil and Bulgur Salad with Feta and Mint

Lamb Kebabs and Greek Salad


2 Responses to “Lentil Wheat Berry Soup with Herb Pistou”

  1. Nicole Says:

    how much liquid should be added? just water?

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