Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mushroom, Lentil and Wheat Berry Soup

Since I was busy around the house today we had soup and salad for dinner tonight. I wanted to make something with mushrooms tonight and soup is not only low maintenance but always seems to work for both the vegans and the omnivores.

Mushrooms are wonderful to use because they are known to boost immunity. Lentils were chosen for two reasons. Of all beans they have the second highest amount of antioxidants, and they don’t require soaking. Wheat berries make a great chewy stand in for meat. Tomato paste adds a nice depth of flavor and lycopene to the soup. Paprika adds flavor and vitamin C. I like to use acids (either vinegar or citrus juice) to finish soups to lift the flavor. Here is the soup we had tonight.

Mushroom, Lentil and Wheat Berry Soup
Serves 6


1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
5 stalks of celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed (allow stand 10 minutes so allicin can develop), peeled and finely minced
½ cup water
1 cup wheat berries
6 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 cup dried mushrooms
4 cups water
1 cup red lentils
4 or 5 cups of water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces fresh Crimini mushrooms, cut into a size that will fit easily on a spoon
1 ½ lemons, zested and juiced


Water sauté the onions, celery, carrot and garlic until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the wheat berries, water and bay leaves and cook for 45 minutes.

While the wheat berries are cooking combine the dried mushrooms and water and microwave until hot (3 minutes in microwave). Allow the mushrooms to sit in the hot water while the wheat berries cook. Then remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and dice them into bite size pieces. Add the mushroom pieces to the soup. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a cheese cloth or paper towel lined wire sieve into the soup pot. Straining should remove any grit that was on the mushrooms before they were dried.

Add the lentils, water, tomato paste and paprika and cook for another 30 minutes. By then both the lentils and wheat berries should be tender. Add the salt, lemon zest and lemon juice just before serving.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 290
Calories From Fat (5%) - 14.85

Total Fat - 1.77g
Saturated Fat - 0.31g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 892.46mg
Potassium - 972.58mg
Total Carbohydrates - 57.24g
Fiber - 11.08g
Sugar - 5.28g
Protein - 16.28g


Even though this soup was very low in fat everyone enjoyed it. The first flavor of soup you taste is mushroom, followed by lemon and paprika. We enjoyed the softness of the lentils and the chew of the wheat berries. This soup had a little e bit of everything.

Each serving of this soup contains approximately 5,400IU of vitamin A, 90mg of calcium, 120mcg of folate, 320mg of phosphorus, 100mg of magnesium and 44mcg of selenium.

Unrelated note:

Tomorrow is going to be a little hectic but I will try to post at least once tomorrow. I hope you all have a great evening.


  1. What a great combo of textures and flavors...this sounds great. I love lentils too, couldn't get enough of them...thanks for the recipe.

  2. Rose,

    Thanks! I really liked the flavors of this one. Something tells me this will be one I repeat often.


  3. What a perfect combination. I imagine the textures of the lentils and wheat berries contrast perfectly. YUM.

  4. Brandi,

    Thanks. :)


    I like the textural contrast of the lentils and wheat berries too. The lemon is what makes this in my opinion. But then again, I do love my lemon.


  5. This looks wonderful, what a great blend of flavors. I am printing this out to make later in the week.

  6. Janet,

    Thanks! We lemon lovers have to stick together. I just had a bowl of this for lunch. I love the chewiness of the wheat berries and dried mushrooms against the softness of the lentils. But of course the lemon makes it! ;)

    talk to you later,

  7. This is a wonderful recipe - tried it last night. Did not have celery - doubled up on the amount of onion, and also (personal preference) doubled the amount of tomato paste. Did not have an organic lemon - did not use lemon zest. Cannot wait to repeat it with celery and lemon zest in place. Thank you!


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