Until you try it! I loved this combination. The peanut butter adds great flavor, creaminess and some added protein to this soup. Plus, the ease of making it was what attracted me. It’s not exactly a holiday inspired recipe, but I have been so busy this month all I wanted was something easy! Plus, I got another chance to use my slow cooker and my grandma’s canned tomatoes from her garden!
I had this weird notion in my head that I didn’t like barley because I had only ever had it in soups I didn’t like. I was very wrong, it’s delicious!
Its got a great chewing texture, it’s super filling and it’s cheap! Which makes it a great option for a grain salad to pack for weekday lunches — or freeze in single serve portions if you don’t like eating the same thing every day. I am a huge fan of keeping single servings of meals in the freezer to grab on my way out the door.
Put the lentils, barley and whole garlic cloves (I actually used 3 but I LOVE garlic) in a medium pot and add water to cover by a couple inches; bring to a boil and cook for 45 min, or until tender.
Drain well, discard the garlic cloves (or eat them on a cracker! mmm), and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine cooled lentils and barley and all the other salad ingredients.
Shake the dressing in a small jar or whisk in a bowl, pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss.
Note: this dressing recipe makes much more dressing than I use personally but I generally don't like a lot, so dress it with less if your tastes match mine and save the rest in the fridge for other purposes.