Red lentil and pearl barley soup

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Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 4

By Cailleach



  • 2 medium onion diced

  • 2 tsp tomato puree

  • 1/2 pints chicken stock

  • 150g chicken cooked, shredded

  • 1 cayenne pepper

  • 2 slices bacon diced (optional)

  • 200g dried red lentil

  • 1 stick celery diced

  • 1 paprika

  • 4 large carrots diced

  • 150g pearl barley

  • 2 tins tomatoes

  • 50g rice

  • 1 clove garlic diced

  • 1 oregano

  • 1 basil


  1. Fry off diced onions until soft, add celery and bacon, fry for two minutes.
  2. Add carrots and tinned tomatoes. Add chicken stock and two empty tomato cans-worth of water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a low heat.
  3. Add the pearl barley first. This will take about 1 hour 15 minutes to cook through, and the lentils will take 45 minutes. So set the oven timer for 25 minutes, add lid to soup pan.
  4. When 25 minutes is up, add lentils and set timer for another 25 minutes and then add the rice, chicken and herbs for the last 25 minutes or so.
  5. Add more cayenne if you want a really spicy soup.
  6. Add water if it starts to get too thick, and make sure you stir the soup frequently or it will stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep the lid on the pan throughout cooking to stop it boiling dry.
  7. Serve with crusty bread.

Handy Hint

If you've no pearl barley on hand, just add double the quantity of lentils and reduce the cooking time slightly.

Additional Information

  • pulses

  • Can Freeze

  • Make Ahead

  • Low fat

  • Soup

  • Starter

  • Dairy Free

  • Nut Free

  • Egg Free

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Your comments

  • Cailleach 28/01/13 14:45

    This is my Mum's cheap and cheerful winter soup which can usually be made from ingredients you have on hand. This freezes really well and can be stored in the fridge for a day or two.