Crockpot Barley Lentil Soup

Vegan Soup: Barley, lentils, veggies, garlic, ginger, cilantro

Barley Lentil Soup

Barley lentil soup is veggie rich, hearty and satisfying, but not heavy, perfect for a cool, rainy day. Slow cook it all day for dinner.

This lentil soup recipe makes a LOT of soup, enough for 2 meals or more depending on how many people. Use a large (8 - 10 qt) crockpot, or half the recipe for a smaller crockpot

Total Prep & Cook Time: 3 hours quick crockpot method, 8 hours slow

Yield: 8 large servings

Nutrition Data, 187 g Serving: 267 cal, 48g carb, 5g fat,456mg sodium, 13g fiber, 10g protein, low Cholesterol, good source Vit C, A, K, Folate. Estimated glycemic load 20

Soup Ingredients:

  • Use a large (8 - 10 qt) crockpot for this recipe
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, washed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked whole barley, or 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Optional: 2 inch piece dried kombu
  • Optional: 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ginger slices, peeled and minced
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed & chopped in 1/4 inch slices
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  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • Optional: 1 leek - trim & wash carefully to remove any sand (OR: 1/2 yellow onion)
  • 1 medium summer squash, chopped in 1 inch pieces (OR: 2 c. winter squash OR: 2 c. potato)
  • 1 cup chopped Roma tomato, peeled & seeded (OR: 1 sm can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves OR 1 Tbsp fresh
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves OR 1 sprig fresh
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves OR 1 sprig fresh
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp gr cumin
  • 1 tsp gr coriander
  • pinch cayenne or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
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Soup Directions:

Quick Crockpot Method:

  1. If you're using whole barley, cook the night before and store in the fridge. Or soak overnight
  2. Preheat the crockpot on high
  3. Add the lentils to a saucepan, with water to cover. Bring them to a boil
  4. If you're using pearl barley, boil it also, with the lentils
  5. Add lentils and barley to the crockpot with the cooking water
  6. Add more water if needed to cover
  7. Add the bay leaf and optional kombu or vegan bouillon cube
  8. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours
  9. Heat the oil on med-low in a large sauté or frying pan
  10. Prep the celery, carrot, squash, optional leek or onion
  11. Mince the garlic and ginger and stir with the oil until they start to brown
  12. Turn the heat to medium high, add the veggies and sauté 5 minutes
  13. Add cumin, parsley or coriander, & paprika, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, cayenne and sauté another 2 minutes
  14. Using a spatula, transfer all to the crockpot. Swish a little water in the pan to get all the spices
  15. Stir the tomato paste into the soup
  16. Cover and cook on high for another 1 - 2 hours until veggies are tender
  17. Remove the kombu and bay leaves + the herb sprigs if you used fresh
  18. 15 minutes before serving, add salt & pepper to taste, and minced fresh parsley
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Long Crockpot Method:

  1. Use pearl barley or cooked whole barley
  2. Add all ingredients except salt, pepper and fresh cilantro to the cold crockpot, turn on low and cook for 8 hours
  3. Remove kombu & bay leaf, add salt, pepper & fresh parsley about 15 minutes before serving

Recipe Tips:

I used the vegetables that I had on hand, but you could substitute other veggies in this soup - the tomato and parsley are kind of essential though.

We used pre-cooked whole barley because we just happened to have cooked some the night before. If you don't have or didn't cook whole barley, use pearl barley, cooked or not.

Want your soup for lunch? Use the quick crockpot method. If you want it for supper, just throw everything in the crockpot, turn it on low, and go away for 8 hours or so.

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