Barley Lentil Soup

Barley Lentil Soup

Barley lentil soup is a great summer soup and a complete meal in itself. Made using fresh in-season vegetables, cooked barley and whole lentils (masoor) in a mild, flavorful broth with hints of mint, lemon and coriander, this soup can be a simple, yet delicious addition to your summer cooking!


Ingredients (makes 6 medium servings):

  • Raw barley (not pearl barley) (3/4 cup)
  • Whole lentils (whole masoor dhal) (3/4 cup)
  • Freshly chopped vegetables (orange squash, broccoli, cabbage, celery, zucchini, kale/spinach, spring onions, white onions, tomatoes)
  • Garlic (1 pod)
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Black pepper powder (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Sugar (2 tsp)
  • Olive oil/butter/ghee (1 tbsp)
  • Dried organic Italian seasoning (a generous pinch)
  • Fresh herbs (mint and coriander) (1 heaped tbsp each)



  • Soak the barley and lentils for as long as 3-4 hours if you have the chance. Otherwise, even a little soaking can go a long way. Pressure cook until the grains and lentils are well cooked.
  • Heat olive oil/butter/ghee in a wide pan on medium.
  • Add Italian seasoning, minced garlic. When the garlic is starting to brown, add chopped white onions and whites of spring onions. Saute on medium for a minute or so, until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the other vegetables, except the tomatoes. Saute on medium for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and greens like kale/spinach, fresh herbs like chopped mint and coriander, salt, sugar, pepper powders and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are also cooked.
  • Add cooked barley and lentils and bring the soup to a boil. Add water as necessary to bring the soup to a desired consistency.
  • Drizzle some lemon juice in the end before serving.



Serve this soup with a light, refreshing salad to make this a complete summer lunch!

Barley-Lentil Soup & OJ Dressing Salad


Tastes (Rasa):

Sweet (barley, lentils, oil/ghee/butter), sour (lemon juice, tomatoes), salty (salt), bitter (greens, dried and fresh herbs), pungent (pepper, garlic), astringent (greens, celery, fresh herbs).


Doshic Influence:

Barley is great for pitta reduction and is an apt grain to include during the hot summer months. Lentils are slightly vata aggravating and may cause flatulence due to some difficulties in digestibility. However, soaking the lentils in water for several hours before cooking, cooking the lentils until they are well done, and also the addition of digestive spices helps alleviate this problem to a great extent. The end product is mild, yet flavorful and includes all 6 tastes, making it a highly digestible and comforting food that is suitable for all doshas.


Effects on the Mind (Gunas):

If made using fresh ingredients, if made mild and without any overbearing pungency, saltiness or sourness, and if the grains and lentils are well cooked with digestive spices, this barley lentil soup is a highly sattvic recipe. Eliminating the onion and garlic will make it even more sattvic, without altering the taste too much.

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