red lentil-vegetable soup with barley

A soup when you want a hearty one pot meal . All the fresh vegetables are complemented very well with red lentils . I use barley for it's health promoting benefits as well as for a nice starchy bite , almost like a meaty pasta . In this soup all the elements seem to complement each other so well , the colorful vegetables have been cooked till very soft but not mushy , barley is another soft bite while the lentils provide the base . Tempered with a lot of garlic , the way i love all my lentil soups .


red lentils 2 tbsp
pearl barley 2 tbsp
baby bok choy 4 heads
celery stalk1 no.
spring onion bulbs 2 nos.
carrots 2 nos.
garlic cloves 8-10 chopped finely ( small Indian cloves)
finely chopped ginger 2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
butter 1 tbsp


Wash the red lentils and keep aside.

Chop all the vegetables in small pieces and keep aside.
Heat butter in a pan and throw in the cumin seeds and garlic . Wait till both become brownish , add the ginger followed by chopped vegetables . Toss and stir fry for a few seconds .

Add the washed red lentils , barley , salt and pepper . Add water ( about 500 ml ) and turmeric powder , cover to cook on medium heat till the lentils are mushy and soft and barley is cooked and plump . Adjust water to make it desirable consistency , adjust seasonings too.

I have not added any chillies to the soup , it's just the ginger and black pepper for heat and it was great this way . All the flavors of the fresh vegetables were intact and there was just enough heat for the soup , the flavor of garlic was awesome.

No garnish is required when there is great color naturally in the soup . Parsley or cilantro would be great of you feel like a fresh green kick to it. 


  1. great soup and I mean it. now that I am dieting (in a healthy way) I drink a lot of very light red lentil soup. this one looks very comforting but never used barley. have to look for it.
    happy Puja Sangeeta.

  2. Hi Sangeeta,

    Very healthy soup...Thanx for sharing.


  3. Hi Sangeeta,
    I've been following your recipes for quite sometime now and I totally love them. I like your choice of ingredients: desi and videshi. I especially like the way you balance out all your meals (carbs, protein, veggies) and also prepare them according to ayurveda rules. Makes it both healthy, tasty and satisfying! I've become a big fan of your cooking and have recommended your blog to my relatives. Keep up the great work!

    - Shruthi, TX, USA

  4. Thank you ladies for the sweet words.

    Shruthi...This is the food i love for myself and not what is fashionable . I am so glad that you find my kind of food good for you. Thanks for recommending this site to your friends and relatives....this is really inspiring and motivating for me.

  5. :) :) This is Sangeeta here .
    Thanks Savitha.

  6. I like the idea of this lentil soup with barley.

  7. I like barley and lentils in soups but have never combined the two. This soup sounds delicious and healthy.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment :)

  8. Pardon ignorance, but by red lentils do you mean masoor dal or tuar dal?

  9. @ lintils are masoor daal.


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