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Pretty tasty, just a bit bland for me. My husband loved it. I used parsley instead of the mint and did not fry the onions first. I'm in agreement that frying them first would probably be a good idea to add more taste. It made A LOT of a very healthy and filling dish :-)
It is an excellent Old World food!
I made it by the recipe and found it good and hearty but missing something. When doing over I believe frying the onions first is necessary as well as adding some salt. Kudos on the easy prep!
I used about 4c extra water & it was still very thick. I used red lentils. I liked that it wasn't full of *stuff* (veggies, etc.) It was just straightforward, simple, delicious, very hearty soup which is very delicately flavored. we enjoyed it tremendously - even my mom who doesn't like barley! Made for Wish You Were Here - Iran.
I just made this soup and didn't have any problem with it. My husband agreed, five stars. The only thing I did differently from the instructions was to saute the onions in the oil first, then add only the water and barley to give the barley a chance to pre-cook (otherwise the lentils would've dissolved before the barley got soft). True, there is no way to stop the barley from continuing to soak up the water after you want it to stop cooking; you'll just have to add more water if you want to call it soup. We were fine with it being a saucy barley and lentil hotdish, though. We didn't feel as though it needed any other spices; in fact, my husband thought it tasted as though there were more in it. I don't know any Persian; but I have seen this recipe by the name Ash-e-Jow (or some variation of that spelling) also. It makes a great vegan protein dish.
Barley Soup is very tricky. It doesn't matter where the recipe is from. But I liked the save, interesting...I just might try SueL's.
To be truthful, I really didn't care for this soup. I did use fresh mint, french green lentils, and also cooked the onions in mine. It cooked up much too thick (I had to add quite a bit of water) and the flavor was bitter, if it could not be also called bland. The ingredients certainly are easy enough and it is simple to prepare, but I think it needs more. I took it upon myself to save what I had cooked by adding 2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp tomato paste, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Of course, the end result was quite different from the original, but I feel it was a lot more flavorful and even more Persian tasting this way. Sorry I couldn't give a better review, but at least the soup turned out ok in the end. Thanks for posting!