bowl of lentil and barley stew

Lentil and Barley Stew – Cozy Comfort on Cold Days!

Satisfy your craving for a comforting bowl of soup with this easy and tasty lentil and barley stew recipe. This hearty dish is packed with nutrition, has an earthy flavor and luxurious texture, and is sure to warm your soul on chilly days!

Lentils and barley are some of the healthiest staples that have been consumed by mankind for centuries. They are mentioned several times in the Bible, and recent discoveries have shown that Roman gladiators ate mostly barley and legumes. Together they provide a complete protein, which makes this lentil and barley stew a perfect vegan meal.

So get ready to enjoy a delicious bowl of lentil & barley soup!

Ingredients and substitutions

To make this lentil and barley stew, you will need:

lentil barley stew ingredients
Lentil and Barley Stew Ingredients
  • Red lentils: they will fall apart when cooking and create a creamy base for the stew. As a substitute, split peas or yellow lentils would work.
  • Barley: provides nice little chewy bites. I recommend using hulled barley (only the inedible outer shell has been removed during processing) for extra nutrition. Most grocery stores only carry pearled barley, which is not a whole grain since the fiber-containing bran has been removed.
  • Onion, carrots and celery: the classic elements of a “mirepoix”, the start of many stews that provides depth of flavor.
  • Garlic: the base of the Mediterranean Diet, for added flavor and nutritional benefits
  • Vegetable broth: the liquid base of your stew. If you make your own, kudos to you, otherwise opt for a low sodium one. Commercial broth can be loaded with salt. I like to use Seitenbacher dehydrated vegetable broth that is extremely convenient, all natural and tastes fantastic. It is not low sodium, but I control how much salt I add to the recipe.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: for sautéing the mirepoix.
  • Dried herbs and spices: cumin, za’atar, thyme, sumac, bay leaves. I find this spice combination optimal for my taste. But za’atar and sumac are optional; if you don’t have any on hand, add a little extra thyme.
  • Cilantro: for a bright citrusy flavor. Add half of it during cooking, and use the other half as garnish.
  • Salt and pepper: to taste. If you are watching your sodium intake, you know what to do…!

How to make this lentil and barley soup recipe

This stew couldn’t be any easier to make.

One tip to make this recipe a breeze: keep some cooked barley on hand in your freezer! You could cook the barley in the stew, but it takes about 50 minutes for hulled barley to cook, and this can cause the vegetables to become too soft. A better option is batch cooking, which involves making a large batch, using what you need and freezing the rest in individual servings.

First, sauté the onions until they become translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook until they start to soften. Add garlic and spices and cook another minute until fragrant.

Next, add lentils, broth and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce and simmer for 25 minutes.

Finally, add the cooked barley and cook for an additional 5 minutes until it is heated through.

adding cooked barley to the stockpot

That’s all there is to it.

Try this cozy lentil and barley stew today. With its earthy flavor and creamy texture, it is sure to be a hit among family and friends!

Other delicious and healthy recipes to try:

Lentil and farro soup

Silky green soup

Butternut Cauliflower Soup

Butternut squash red lentil soup

Mushroom kale and barley soup

bowl of lentil and barley stew
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5 from 4 votes

Lentil and Barley Stew

Satisfy your craving for a comforting bowl of soup with this easy and tasty lentil and barley stew recipe. This hearty dish is packed with nutrition, has an earthy flavor and luxurious texture, and is sure to warm your soul on chilly days!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 8
Author: Veronique Eichler

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot on medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  • Add carrots and celery and cook until they start to soften.
  • Add garlic and spices and cook another minute until fragrant.
  • Add lentils, broth and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Add the cooked barley and cook for an additional 5 minutes until it is heated through.
  • Remove bay leaves before serving and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Notes

This stew will keep in an airtight container in you refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
It freezes very well.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lentil and Barley Stew
Amount per Serving
Calories
282
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
313
mg
14
%
Total Carbohydrate
 
46
g
15
%
Dietary Fiber
 
19
g
79
%
Total Sugars
 
4
g
4
%
Includes Added Sugar
 
0
g
Protein
 
15
g
30
%
Vitamin A
 
3926
IU
79
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Calcium
 
51
mg
5
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
Potassium
 
612
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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