Barley and Lentil Soup

149 Reviews
99% would make this recipe again

A very good soup which combines some lesser known ingredients: barley, lentils, and Swiss chard, which are tasty, rich in nutrients, and rather inexpensive.

Preparation : 15 min Cooking : 1 h
130 calories/serving


1/2 cup green or brown lentils (dried) 90 g
1 onions, finely chopped 200 g
2 carrots, finely chopped 200 g
3 cups Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped and packed 280 g
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 23 mL
1 tsp ground cumin 2 g
3 cups chicken broth 750 mL
3 cups water 750 mL
1/2 cup pearl barley 90 g
1 1/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced) 320 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]

Before you start

It is not necessary to soak the lentils in advance.


  1. Rinse and drain the lentils, then set aside.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: Finely chop the onion and carrots; coarsely chop the Swiss chard (green and white parts); and mince or press the garlic. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion then sauté 3-4 min until soft. Add the carrots, then sauté 5 min with occasional stirring, until they are golden-coloured. Add the garlic and stir 1 min, then add the cumin and stir 1 min. Pour in the broth, water and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 min.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and lentils. Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 min.
  5. Add the chard to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts Table

per 1 SERVING (230 g)


% Daily Value




2 g

4 %

Saturated 0.3 g
+ Trans 0 g

2 %


0 mg


390 mg

16 %


23 g

8 %


4 g

14 %


3 g

Net Carbs

19 g


5 g

Vitamin A

86 %

Vitamin C

30 %


5 %


19 %


This recipe is :
Diet-related health claims  :
Excellent source of  :
Folacin, Vitamin A, Vitamin K
Good source of  :
Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium
Source of  :
Calcium, Copper, Fibre, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc
Low  :
Fat, Saturated Fat
Free  :
Added Sugar, Cholesterol, Trans Fat


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Starches 1
Vegetables 1
Meat and Alternatives ½
Fats ½

Leave a review

You have to be logged in to leave a review

Members' Reviews

149 Reviews (137 with rating only) 99% would make this recipe again
Sort By: Most Recent | Rating | Most Helpful
Gene F.
february 28, 2017 | I would make this recipe again

A staple in our house...

Useful 0
january 26, 2013 | I would make this recipe again

I increased the cumin slightly. Also, I substituted kale for the Swiss chard. If you're using kale, a suggest you chop it up a bit finer and added about 30 minutes cooking process is ended.

Useful 0
october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

This was a simple, healthy and inexpensive soup but I added a few things to boost the flavour. More broth, less water; 3 bay leaves while simmering; extra onion and garlic and a few chili flakes. I also added the lentils sooner and didn't cook it quite as long. I'll be curious to see how much liquid the barley and lentils absorb overnight.

Useful 0
may 08, 2012 | I would make this recipe again

This one was pretty good. I left the carrots chunky rather than finely chopped, I like a soup to have a good texture. This would be good with some diced stew beef or chicken chunks in it to satisfy my carnivore husband.

Useful 0
october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

I really enjoyed this one!!!

Useful 0

Top Reviews

View All Reviews
january 26, 2009 | I would make this recipe again

We liked the texture of this soup, nice and creamy. But next time I would add more spices as it was a little bland.

Useful 9
october 20, 2021 | I would make this recipe again

awesome soup! even my picky 4 year old likes this one! i've made twice and have discovered adding either a dollop of sour cream, or a spoonful of parmesan, makes it even better.

Useful 2
february 27, 2009 | I would make this recipe again

This was excellent, flavourful and hearty.

Useful 2

This website uses cookies to give the best user experience, monitor the site performance, offer social networks features, or display advertisements. By clicking "ACCEPT", you consent to the use of cookies in accordance to our privacy policy.

Our weekly newsletter includes:

  • Recipes, tips and advice on healthy eating
  • Occasional promotions on products & services from SOSCuisine and some trusted partners
  • Occasional invitations to help scientific research by answering surveys or participating in studies
  • Your email address will never be shared without your permission and you may unsubscribe at any time.
SOSCuisine, 3470 Stanley, Suite 1605, Montreal, QC, H3A 1R9, Canada.