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Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup (Crock pot)

Hello all!

Last semester I loved Tuesdays, and this time it’s Wednesdays.¬† I just love having late mornings–I can sleep in (’til eight), catch up on our budgeting, clean, and still have time to set up dinner in the crock pot before I have class.¬† Now that is just amazing.

So here’s the latest and greatest¬†from that¬†lovely little invention known to we¬†mortals¬†as a slow cooker:

(update: some reviews on this recipe have been mixed.  Read comments and feel free to adjust as you see fit.  Some have found that as-written works well, and not for others.  The dangers of imprecise slow-cooking!).

Lentil Vegetable and Barley Soup

  • 1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C red lentils
  • 1/2 C yellow split peas
  • 1/2 C barley
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 C vegetable broth (or chicken or beef), plus ~2 C extra water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • fresh or dried basil to top (optional)

As with all crock pot recipes, this is a breeze to put together.  Dice and layer all the veggies, and top with the grains, liquids and the spices (except the basil).  The order I used was: onions and bell peppers, squash and carrots, lentils, peas, and barley, diced tomatoes and broth, salt, pepper, sugar, and finally the extra water.

Aren’t the colors of this soup just gorgeous?¬† I was lucky and actually got to take pictures in daylight for once (another great thing about late mornings).

Set the crock pot on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.¬† The lentils, peas, and barley will absorb a lot of water, so you may need to add even more extra (unless you like a nice thick soup like I do–then you will be very pleased when you arrive home from class!).

Top with a sprinkle of basil and some pepper and enjoy!

Before I’m off to bed, I thought I’d share one last thing with you.¬† It’s a favorite of mine–I have some every day (often two or three times), and it calms me while awakening me at the same time.¬† It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s a blast in a glass.

Any guesses?

Nope, not Deena from J-Shore (is it cool that I abbreviated that?).¬† It’s tea.¬† The best tea I have even been given the privilege to steep.¬† I’m nearing the end of the tin and every day I die a little more inside knowing that I’m one day closer to running out (melodramatic, much?).¬† It was a gift–a great one.

I would like to thank a certain South African for allowing this beautiful marriage between me and Zululand to happen–you know who you are.


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  1. Bridget Strub

    Ummmmm, yes please! Let me know when dinner is next time, k?! :)

    PS. I LOVE your blog…you inspire me both to cook and to get a better camera :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      haha I’m glad you read it! Don’t get too jealous of my camera though, it’s just a point-and-shoot digital camera we got two years ago (a Panasonic Lumix). I am LONGING for a better camera but am trying to wait for a time where it’s the responsible thing to buy it.

  2. Lindsey Hough

    I wanted you to know that I am a daily follower of your blog. I LOVE all the recipes that you post. Last night i tried this soup and it was SO good!!

    Thanks for always sharing what is going on in your kitchen!!


    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks! i’m so glad you liked it! keep telling what you’ve made because it encourages me to share my recipes :)

  3. Monica

    do you need to soak the lentils/peas/barley overnight?

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Nope–whenever I use a crockpot I have it on for long enough that peas/beans/lentils/grains all get cooked thoroughly without a presoaking…that way using the crockpot is actually convenient!

  4. Susie Johnson

    Hi Lauren, I just discovered your website through Pinterest, and I’m so glad I did! I made your Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup tonight for dinner and it is great! I just added some diced chicken for some additional protein, plus some Cajun seasoning for a little extra kick, and got raves all around. I’m looking forward to making more of your great dishes! Thanks so much!

  5. Beth

    Thanks for the recipe! Made this soup last night – easy, quick, healthy and delicious! One word of advice for other readers – hold the tomatoes and salt out until after the peas and lentils are cooked to the tenderness you desire. I forgot to do that and my peas and lentils remained too firm for my liking. It was a rookie mistake. Try tossing in a bit of dried oregano and thyme at the start of the cooking time. Enjoy!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Definitely–I always forget to mention that, since I only recently realized the connection last year sometime between tomatoes and cooking dried beans, lentils, etc.! Thanks!

      1. Lore

        Hi Lauren! Can you change that in the recipe? Because most of people don’t read the reviews before cooking. Like me! :(

        1. Lauren Zietsman

          I did so! Thanks for the suggestion :)

  6. Kelly

    Stumbled across this on pinterest and cannot wait to make it! About how many servings does this make and what do you consider a serving? Thank you in advance for answering I’m doing food measuring so it would be helpful to know :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      so sorry, I really don’t track quantities that carefully. I usually consider a BIG bowl a serving unless I make it with something else.

  7. Karen

    I currently have all of these ingredients in my fridge/cupboard but I don’t have a crockpot. Not sure what one even is, to be honest with you. How can I make this soup just using a good old-fashioned saucepan or casserole dish?

    1. Regina

      You can use a dutch oven which is a good heavy pan. Just keep your heat low and stir occasionally. Only difference is ine you can set and let go for hours cause it cooks at such a low temp indirectly. Hope this helps..

    2. Donald

      if you’re from the UK we call them Slow Cookers .. .

  8. Lacey

    I made this delicious recipe today! Thank you for posting this! It was SOOOOO good!!
    I paired it with some saut√©ed tofu…yum!!

  9. Donald

    Oh dear, my slow cooker is smaller than most, I cant fit the tomatoes or the extra water in mine, so the pulses aren’t absorbing all the liquid as they aren’t in it . . . will need to adjust for next time – less carrots & courgette and possibly 1/4 cup of the pulses . . .

  10. Erica

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I made it this week and the entire family loved it including the kids (4&7). My husband said it tasted like beef stew without the beef. It’s a keeper. Off to explore your other recipes.

  11. Teresa

    This was awful :( made exactly as directed and it was watery with no flavor and the peas were still pretty hard. Biggest cooking disappointment in a while.

    1. zoe

      I agree with you Teresa, I’m disappointed with this recipe too, I wish I read the comments before making it :(

      1. vanessasa

        I made it exactly as stated, too. Bland and uninteresting. :(

        1. Lauren Zietsman

          Sorry to hear that! There have been mixed reviews of this recipe–some great, others not so much, so if I make it again I’ll be sure to update it.

  12. Shatha

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it using a regular pot (no crock pot) and it was amazingly good.

  13. Lacey

    I made this tonight, and the flavor is really nice, but the consistency is a bit off. My lentils and peas are a little hard and other things are a bit mushy. Maybe I will have to adjust the cooking time a bit.

  14. Kristie Moore

    Unless I am missing it, how long do you have it in the crock pot for and what temperature? Thank you.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      on low for eight hours or on high for four. tomatoes slow down the cooking of uncooked beans in a crockpot, so if you are using dried beans be sure to accommodate for the extra time and liquid you’ll need.

      1. karma

        8 hours on low and the peas are still crunchy. Any advice? Taste is good however.

  15. Susan

    Peas won’t soften if they are old. Normally a regular split pea would be totally soft, almost mush even, after 8 hours in a crockpot. Don’t give up, buy new peas.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks Susan!

  16. Jeana

    Funny, I never knew tomatoes had that effect on dried beans etc. Luckily, I went to the store thinking I already had canned tomatoes, and therefore was disappointed in having to make a second trip to the store for them; but I started the soup before leaving. This apparently gave me enough time to get the peas and lentils cooking because it’s been on the stove top two hours and is ready to eat!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      glad it worked out!

  17. pilar

    me gustaria saber las calorias por racion de estos platos tan apetitosos,

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