Lentil Barley Leek Soup

With my sourdough starters well under way, I figured it was time to whip up some soul-cradling soup.  This hearty and robust soup will fill you and your heart up with joy on a cold Autumn evening.

Lentil Leek Barley Soup
1 cup French Lentils
1 cup Pearl Barley
2 Leeks
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Carrots
2 Stalks Celery
8 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Begin by thoroughly rinsing barley and lentils and set aside.  Finely chop leeks, onions, carrots and celery and set aside. In a stock pot add oil and heat on medium heat then add all chopped vegetables.  Cook for about 5 minutes then add lentil and barley.  Give it a good stir and then add all vegetable broth and bay leaf.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes or until barley and lentils are tender.  If you like a more "brothy" soup, feel free to add more stock depending on your preference.  Lastly remove bay leaf and add salt and pepper to suit your taste.  Serve immediately with crusty bread and garnish with fresh parsley.  Refrigerate any unused portion in a tightly sealed glass jar after allowing it to cool to room temperature.

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