Barley and Lentil Soup

Cooking Matters
Serves 8, 1 cup per serving
Lentils add a filling, lean protein to this tasty soup.

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1. Rinse, peel, and dice carrots and onions. Peel and mince garlic. Rinse and chop spinach.

2. In a colander, rinse barley with cold water.

3. In a large pot, add oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions. Cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, paprika, and cayenne pepper to pot. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

5. Add barley, water, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

6. In a colander, rinse lentils with cold water. Add lentils to pot, along with tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

7. Add spinach to soup and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

8. Add salt and pepper and stir. If using Parmesan cheese, add now.


If soup is too thick, add extra liquid (water or broth) to your taste. Beans and grains continue to absorb water when stored in the fridge. When reheating leftover soup, add water or broth as needed. Use kale, chard, or collard greens in place of spinach, if you like. For a more filling and healthier soup, add more colorful veggies.


3 medium carrots

2 medium onions

3 large cloves garlic

4 cups fresh spinach

3/4 cup pearl barley

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

6 cups water

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup dried lentils

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Ingredients: cup grated Parmesan cheese


Can opener Colander Cutting board Large pot with lid Measuring cups Measuring spoons Mixing spoon Sharp knife Vegetable peeler

More About Spinach

How to Select

Look for perky, green leaves. Avoid leaves that are wilted, brown or yellow.

How to Store

Keep spinach in the original bag or plastic container or in a plastic bag. Store as cold as possible without freezing. Spinach can be stored for 3-5 days. Wash the spinach just before use, not before storing.

How to Prepare

Add spinach to soups. casseroles, chilis, spaghetti sauce, stir frys, salads, sandwhiches, pizzas or smoothies; the possibilities are almost endless!