Curry Lentil and Barley Soup

This is one of my GO-TO recipes! I always have the ingredients on hand and I can make it with my eyes closed; it is delicious, filling, and feeds an army (which I’m not sure Andy likes because if I don’t freeze half of it or give some away, the two of us eat it for a week)! It is obviously cozy during the winter, but makes for great dinners and lunches with a nice salad during the summer.

And the beauty is that if for some odd reason I don’t have an ingredient on hand it is incredibly easy to tailor: substitute, add or subtract. Don’t have barley? Skip it. Add potatoes/sweet potatoes, spinach, a meat protein, etc. Oh, oh, oh! And in this season of receiving some crazy CSA veggies, eh, just throw them in!


Curry Lentil and Barley Soup


  • 1 T. butter or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 oz. jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups barley
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 T. yellow curry powder
  • mozzerlla or parmesean cheese and/parsely, to garnish (optional)


  1. Drop butter in large pot, bring to medium/medium high heat
  2. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and a little salt and pepper (about 1 t. of each) cook until tender (5-8 minutes)
  3. Add jar of crushed tomatoes and let cook down (about 3-5 minutes)
  4. While tomatoes cook down, give the lentils a quick rinse and sort.
  5. Add lentils, barley, chicken stock, water and a little salt and pepper and bring to a boil (this takes about 15 minutes) 
  6. Once boiling, cook uncovered 20-30 minutes
  7. Add curry a few minutes before soup is done cooking.
  8. Garnish with cheese, serve warm, and enjoy!

Personal Note: This is a very flexible recipe, it has a few steps, but I usually make it while I am bustling around doing other things in the kitchen or I prep while I am cooking, like by dropping the onions first and then chopping the additional veggies, so I am NEVER just standing there waiting for the next step. 

If you’re planning to freeze some, I recommend taking out what you’re planning to freeze before adding the curry. Curry thaws a little bitter; so just add it while heating up before serving! Also, this thickens up nicely, almost more of a “stewp;” so upon reheating leftovers, feel free to add some water if you want it a little thinner.

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