This recipe was given to me by my mum, but I've tweaked it a bit. It's an old family favourite and a great soup for an autumn day. Made in a pressure cooker, it takes only 20 minutes for a full, hearty meal. This soup also freezes beautifully.
Dont mess with the pressure cooker. I think in this instance it is way too much work. Plus having a soup simmering in the kitchen in the winter--sending its fragrance thru the house is a huge plus. The package of sausage (sweet italian) I bought had 5 in it...the package of chicken had 3...so I kinda scaled up from there. I sued the same ammt of barley and lentils. Also the same ammt of stock. I also used a cube of Mexican chicken/tomatoe boullion and that gave the stock a richer flavor. I simmered everything together for about 3.5 hours and everyone at the house said it smelled "heavenly" (my 14 year old) Next time I will leave out the barley--I dont think it contributes anything to the soup. I will also leave out the spinach--it was kinda slimey. Some carrots in the next batch and a bean mixture instead of the 'banzos. The stock was delicious and it is a definate base for experimentation. With potatoes, I think it will be very similar to the zuppa Toscana soup at the big olive chain restaurant. - 05 Jan 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I love this - used my trusty and favorite cooking method - the pressure cooker, absolutely wonderful. Very flavorful, and very quick. I was unsure about the barley and lentils - I added them dry from a package and it turned out beautiful, not mushy. The only change I made was frozen spinach - worked great - also I did not add the green salsa till I served it and it was a really nice garnish. Looks beautiful, and tastes really great! Also, I made my own chicken stock in the pressure cooker about 15 minutes prior to making soup - this makes such a nice soup base, better than any store bought! - 07 Oct 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This soup is very rich and healthy! I used 5 Italian turkey sausage links and added black pepper and red pepper powder. It gave it a hint if spicyness. I also added one can of diced tomatoes with no salt added and with garlic, oregano and basil. Since the recipe as is is very high in sodium per serving, I boiled the lentils and the garbanzo beans myself in water with no salt. I added one cube of chicken bouillon and it turned out perfect and even healthier. The barley helps to reduce cholesterol and by boiling the beans myself, it was low in sodium too. Perfect! Also, one tip: don't add the parsley until you are ready to turn off the heat. Parsley is a great antioxidant; however, if you boil it, it loses all properties. The same for the spinach. - 20 Jan 2011 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)