Lentil, Barley, and Mushroom Stew

by kellylavieri on March 19, 2015


This recipe is a wonderful, filling, and flavorful dish made with simple, whole ingredients. The combination of barley and lentils makes this a protein-packed option that will leave you full for longer and give you long-lasting energy throughout the day. It’s also made in one big batch, so you can make a pot on Sunday and eat it for lunches all through the week. Remember to soak your lentils ahead of time to get the most nutritional benefit.

Would you prefer a gluten-free version? Substitute any other medium-sized, gluten-free grain with a similar cooking time for the barley, or pre-boil a longer-cooking grain beforehand. Brown or wild rice could even be used.

  • 2 tbsp. oil (Coconut, or whatever your preferred high temperature cooking oil is)
  • 1 cup lentils (French, brown, green; but not split lentils as they will dissolve before the barley is cooked.)
  • 1 cup pearl or pot barley
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 chopped garlic cloves
  • 4 chopped carrots
  • 4 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms, any kind. stems and tops (Oyster mushrooms work beautifully)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leafy greens (Use spinach, arugula, chard, kale, etc. Just leaves, no stems.)
  • Chopped fresh dill to taste (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice (Or more, to taste)

You can make this one step at a time, chopping the next vegetable as you sauté the one before. Feel free to add other vegetables depending on what you have on hand.

  1. Soak the lentils for 4 hours or overnight in a bowl of cool water. They could even be soaked 2 days in advance, then drained and kept in a sealed container in the fridge for a day.
  2. Heat oil in the pan and add the onions. When onions begin to brown, add garlic, then carrots, then celery, then mushrooms as you finish chopping them.
  3. Once all are in, sauté gently for about five minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and barley.  Sauté for two minutes. Add the herbs/spices at this time.
  5. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until lentils and barley are tender, stirring occasionally. Most liquid should be absorbed. Add more if needed.
  7. Add chopped greens and stir a few minutes until done. Add lemon juice, and dill if desired. Stir in.
  8. Serve immediately.

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