This was pretty good. I made it to use ingredients I had on hand, switching to lentils because I was out of split peas and I wanted a slow cooked soup for this ridiculously frigid day. As usual, I halved the recipe for my family of two. I had a ham hock, but I think we'd prefer it better with just the diced ham, as I got no meat off the bone, and the ham flavor was intense, but not satisying. I had a little ham, so I threw that in. Like others, I added about 1/3 c. of barley and about 1/2c. more water at the eight hour mark because we like it and it added nutrition, and I mixed about two ounces of water into about four ounces of leftover four cheese marinara I had on hand and used that instead of the tomato sauce. I served it with some cornbread, and we liked it well enough for a cold day. We liked the healthy amount of veg and the protein rich lentils and barley, but it would have been way too thin without the barley. If I try this again, I will keep the barley, add more lentils and use veg stock to make it lent friendly. Thanks to all for the helpful reviews and suggestions.
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This was pretty good. I made it to use ingredients I had on hand, switching to lentils because...