High-Protein Barley Vegetable Soup With Lentils

Barley vegetable soup with lentils

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
1g Fat
34g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1032mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Protein 11g
Calcium 85mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Vegetarian barley lentil soup combines whole grains, high-protein lentils, and plenty of healthy and high-fiber vegetables, so it just couldn't possibly be better for you. This vegetarian barley soup recipe is low in fat, as it uses no oil, butter, or margarine, and, as a vegan recipe, it is cholesterol-free.

Enjoy this soup with a tossed salad or some vegan zucchini bread to round out the meal.


  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery (chopped)
  • 7 cups vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup lentils (rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (read the label—not all brands are vegetarian!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for barley vegetable soup with lentils
    The Spruce
  2. Spray a 4-quart saucepan with non-stick cooking spray.

    spray 4-quart saucepan with non-stick cooking spray
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  3. Add the garlic and onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Onion and garlic saute in saucepan
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  4. Add the carrots and celery; sauté for 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

    Carrots, celery, and onions in saucepan
    The Spruce
  5. Mix in 6 cups of vegetable broth, and also the mushrooms, lentils, ​barley, tomato paste, thyme, curry powder, and bay leaf.

    Vegetable broth, mushrooms, lentils, bay leaf, and seasoning in saucepan
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  6. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 60 to 70 minutes or until lentils and barley are tender, but not mushy.

    Barley vegetable soup with lentils in saucepan
    The Spruce
  7. Blend in the remaining broth, Italian parsley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

    Barley vegetable soup with lentils in saucepan
    The Spruce
  8. Remove the bay leaf and serve. Enjoy!

    Barley vegetable soup with lentils in saucepan
    The Spruce


  • This is a soup that freezes well, and you can reheat it in the microwave or gently in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  • Refrigerate leftovers to enjoy over the course of a few days, or, freeze individual portions to take into work or school to heat up for a workday lunch.