MIXED LENTILS, PEAS, BEANS, and BARLEY SOUP

Czech name: Hrstková polévka

Written by Tereza Cechova

This soup came into existence in the nineteenth century in two distinct cultural areas – Moravian Wallachia, which is now part of the Zlin and Moravian-Silesian regions, and Hanakia, which is part of the Olomouc region. Today this soup is known in the whole Czech Republic.

It is based on legumes and cereals, which is why it’s so healthy. Usually served with a yeast bread, people claimed that it was supposed to give men strength. The soup is especially associated with winter because it was used to keep people warm. It was typically cooked during Christmas and public holidays.

Hrstkova polevka is very good because it is rich in minerals, fiber, and proteins. Consuming this meal is a good option for people who want to lose weight.

For more information about the Zlin and Moravian-Silesian region, and the  Olomouc region from which this recipe comes, click here, here and here.

Ingredients

1 cup dried peas
1 cup lentils
1 cup beans
1 cup hulled grain (barley)
1 small carrot
1/2 cup diced celery root
1/2 cups diced parsley root
1 onion
3 1/3 Tbs oil
1/2 cup dried Portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 1/2 tsp marjoram
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Rinse the peas, lentils, and beans and let them soak in water overnight.

Clean the root vegetables – celery, carrot, and parsley root– and cut them into small pieces. Chop the onion finely. Then heat the oil and fry the onion and vegetables.

Add the onions, vegetables, beans, salt, and, pepper to water or broth.

Cook the beans until they are semi-soft and then add the other legumes and hulled grains. During cooking, add the soaked and sliced ​​mushrooms and the finely sliced ​​garlic to the soup and cook it together until tender. Season the finished soup with salt, pepper, and marjoram and a pinch of cumin. Before serving, garnish this delicious soup with chopped parsley root.

This soup can be cooked with rice and you can choose your own legume variant. The beans have to be cooked first because they take longer than the other legumes to become tender.