Hearty Lentil Barley Stew

This is a great year-round stew because it has fresh herbs and flavours while packing substantial protein and other essential nutrients. Lentils are one of the best vegetarian go-to foods when you need a healthy, filling legume for a dish, and barley pairs really nicely with it, giving a thick and “hearty” taste.

This was my first time cooking with barley and I’m already looking for more recipes to try out. I was initially going to make a mushroom barley soup, but my mushrooms were very sad-looking in the fridge so I used a recipe from my Canadian Living vegetarian cookbook instead. If you’re looking for a new cookbook, I’d seriously suggest trying this one out—I’ve never tried a bad recipe from it and everything looks amazing.

Before this stew, I didn’t know there were different kinds of barley. The two main kinds for cooking stews and soups are pearl and pot barley. From what I found, pot barley (which is what I used) still has its outer husk and its inner kernel. Pearl barley can be substituted and takes generally the same amount of cook time, but apparently it is a little less nutritious than pot barley.

Hearty Lentil Barley StewIngredients

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pot barley
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sour cream for garnish


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry onion, garlic, carrot, celery, thyme, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper for roughly 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and very lightly browned.

Add the vegetable broth plus an additional 2 cups of water, then add in lentils and barley—bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils and barley are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve hot with a dollop of sour cream in each serving.Hearty Lentil Barley StewHearty Lentil Barley Stew


8 thoughts on “Hearty Lentil Barley Stew

  1. cocinadecella says:

    I’m obsessed with lentils but have never tried barley — sis is allergic so maybe it’s better that way haha. I love the dollop of sour cream on top! I like to fry or poach an egg on top of my lentil soup… so heavenly.

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