In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup of hulled barley, lower the heat to a low simmer, cover, and continue to cook until tender, about 40 minutes. It’s done when it has tripled in volume and it has absorbed most of the water. Drain any excess water, then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Thoroughly wash 2 ribs of celery and 1 carrot (including scrubbing the skin) under cool, running, drinkable water. Dice the celery; peel and dice the carrot. Dice 1 onion, as well.
In a large pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
Add diced celery, carrot, and onion to the pot. Season withkosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until vegetables start to brown, about 5-6 minutes.
Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of champagne vinegar and cook until vinegar is reduced by half.
Thoroughly wash 2 sprigs of thyme under cool, running, drinkable water.
Add the thyme to the pot, along with 2 cups of vegetable stock, ½ cup of black lentils, and 1 fresh bay leaf. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Thoroughly wash a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley under cool, running, drinkable water and chop. Set aside.
Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the soup. Stir in cooked ½ cup of cooked barley, chopped parsley, and season withkosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Eat up, Mama!
Once cooled completely, store leftover cooked barley in an airtight plastic bag in the freezer and pour leftover soup into silicone molds to freeze into pre-portioned blocks. Your future self with thank you kindly.