Barley-Lentil Soup

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Sometimes, there is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of soup on a cold fall or winter night. It can be a healthy, low-calorie option too! I would suggest making a big pot of soup on Sundays. It's a great way to use those leftover vegetables you didn't get a chance to use during the week. Also, you can usually spend a little extra time at home on Sundays to prepare hearty grains like barley and lentils. Enjoy your soup during the week for lunch or dinner with a salad, a light piece of cornbread, or whole wheat toast for a complete meal. Packed with fat-free veggies, you'll find this a healthy and hearty Sunday Soup recipe!

Servings: Serves 6-8


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 1-2 chopped celery stalks
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth*
  • 1 14 ½-oz can low-sodium diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • ¼-½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. In a large pot with lid, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. When oil is hot, add garlic, celery, and onion. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until slightly golden in color. Then, add the lentils, barley, broth, tomatoes, and optional red pepper flakes, rosemary, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. After 45 minutes, add the thinly sliced carrots and cook another 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remember, they will continue cooking a little after you turn off the heat. Add the baby spinach while the soup is still hot.
  3. Let soup cool a bit in serving bowls to avoid burns. Add grated Parmesan to individual serving bowls just before serving.

  4. Tip: You can add some protein like chicken breast, lean beef, or tofu to your soup. To cook chicken breast, simmer in cold water for 10-15 minutes, then add whole or shredded chicken breast to individual bowls.

Additional information: appropriate for Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian diets; omit barley and substitute with rice for Gluten Free.

nutrition facts label for Barley-Lentil Soup

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