Slow Cooker Mushroom Lentil Barley Soup

What you need:

  • Slow Cooker (recipe is for 2 quart cooker, multiply ingredients for larger cookers)
  • Measuring cup
  • 0.5 cup of dry lentils
  • 0.25 cup pearled barley
  • 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
  • a couple dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
  • 8 oz can of canned tomato sauce (preferably no salt added)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 packet onion soup mix

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What to do:

Load the lentils, barley, drained canned mushrooms, tomato sauce, onion soup mix, italian seasoning, and bay leaf in the slow cooker.

If you’re not using the optional dried mushrooms, just pour the 2 cups of water into the slow cooker, and skip down to the end.

If you are using the optional dried porcini mushrooms (if you can find some, they are a nice way to add some extra flavor), place them in the 2 cups of water, and let them soak for a few minutes.

Dried mushrooms often have some sand or grit on them, which we don’t want to put into the dish.  However, we do want to use the mushroom soaking water in the slow cooker because it picks up a lot of mushroom flavor which would otherwise go to waste.  So after the mushrooms are done soaking, get a strainer and put a paper towel into it:

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Pour the soaking water through the paper towel and strainer, into the slow cooker.  Then take out the paper towel, put the soaked mushrooms back into the strainer, and rinse the mushrooms with tap water to rinse off any grit which might still be on them.

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If the mushroom pieces are large, cut them up a little bit on a cutting board. Then throw the mushrooms into the slow cooker.

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Plug the slow cooker in, and set to Low for 10 hours, or High for 5 hours.

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When it’s ready, remove and discard the bay leaf.  Then dig in!

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