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Beef Barley Lentil Soup Recipe

Beef Barley Lentil Soup Recipe

I serve this soup often to family and friends on cold nights, along with homemade rolls and a green salad. For variety, you can substitute jicama for the potatoes. —Judy Metzentine, The Dalles, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 8 hours YIELD:10 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cubed red potatoes (1/4-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup medium pearl barley
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, coarsely chopped


  • 1. In a nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • 2. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Layer with the potatoes, celery, carrot, lentils and barley. Combine the water, bouillon, salt and lemon pepper; pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables and barley are tender.
  • 3. Add the tomatoes; cook 2 hours longer. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups: 241 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 660mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 9g fiber), 18g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

Reviews for Beef Barley Lentil Soup

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missyasche User ID: 3056382 265474
Reviewed May. 3, 2017

"Terribly bland. I added extra bouillon (Better Than Bouillon brand is what I used) after I tasted it and realized that it was so bland. It may have helped but I didn't want to keep adding more since it is so full of sodium. My father in law liked it, but said, something is missing. I agree and will be moving on to other recipes to try."

Psalm127-3 User ID: 7749892 261609
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2017 Edited Feb. 22, 2017

"oh my gosh this sounds wonderful-I think 2mro is the night....

....and tonight is the night. I knew I'd love this also knew my husband would go meh. he's on a drive to take a gift to our son hours away so made this so I could enjoy.
ok, so with the beef it would have been delightful but although I have GB, I chose not to use it. I also omitted the lemon pepper as it's mostly salt. I used fresh tomaotes that I stewed because I didn't have any canned. THIS WAS DELICIOUS soup!
thank you for posting the recipe Judy M."

smeisner User ID: 99082 259118
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2017

"Everyone enjoyed it, even my picky teen, although she thought it was a little bland. My only quarrel is prep takes a lot longer than five minutes because you have to chop all the vegetables as well as brown the beef and onion. Also missed that it would not fit in my three-quart cooker so had to transfer to a pot on the stove to finish."

leafers1970 User ID: 8380112 255432
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2016

"i am making this for vegan so taking out the beef and beef granules, can i use a vegatable broth in this for substitute,"

Cindyshut User ID: 7580083 255258
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2016

"I made this for the family tonight. It was just OK. Needless to say, this will go in the fail column."

Margiee57 User ID: 8118896 213929
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2014

"Made this soup today. I read other reviews about it needing more flavor and I didn't think 2 tsps of beef granules would be enough for 8 cups of water so I did add more granules and lemon pepper seasoning too. My family loved it!! I will definitely be making this again!"

oanhpi User ID: 987324 122756
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2013

"My family likes it a lot. It's one of our favorite meals in winter"

Sampsod User ID: 7124871 45832
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2013

"Fabulous recipe - easy to make and delicious with fresh bread."

Asakurada User ID: 6955016 61507
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2013

"I've made this over and over again this winter. The first couple of times I made it in the crock pot, but now I cook it on the stove because I don't usually plan ahead. Everybody loves it, including my finicky 10-year-old. I use Better than Bouillon instead of the bouillon granules, since that's what I have on hand, and I add more celery and carrots. I also leave out the potatoes when it's just for my family to make it a little diabetic friendly. It's good either way."

easton81 User ID: 5110831 53908
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2012

"I added an extra 1/2 cup of lentils, carrots and celery and potatoes. I added two extra cups of water and 2 of bouillon granules and extra 1/4 c. of barley. It was perfect and very very flavourful. Very filling!"

easton81 User ID: 5110831 118621
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2012

"I made the soup just the way the recipe said and it was thick and filling and very very flavourful. I would make it again."

Rose040570 User ID: 6534023 61506
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2012

"I will absolutely make this again. I added a little garlic salt, my husband's BBQ dry rub mix into it, and of course (as always) a little Frank's Red Hot Sauce. I also used diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil (did not have the stewed) and we added sweet frozen corn from our garden. I cooked my (deer) meat with a little olive oil and fresh minced garlic. My husband and I could not stop eating this. Thank goodness I had some left over to freeze. I will defiantly be making this again. Actually, I am making my grocery list right now and I am getting the stuff to make this for dinner this week (we just had this last night for dinner)."

kebean0106 User ID: 4694635 89857
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2012

"I've made this soup three times now. The first time I followed the recipe exactly. It was a very good soup, but I actually thought the beef in it was unnecessary. The second time I made it, I omitted the beef, and it was still delicious. I am cooking it for the third time now, and didn't have any beef granules on hand. I used 4 cups of beef broth, and 4 of water, and mixed in a packet of onion dip mix. It smells good right now."

tjbugvds User ID: 6441446 126043
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2012

"I loved this soup!! I did make a couple of changes. I did not add onions or barley because of food allergies. I also only added 4 cups of water instead of 8 only because my crockpot was to small and Im glad I did because I think that helped the flavor more:) I added some pepper, and added more beef granules and lemon pepper than what it called for:) Great recipe, and its healthy:)) I think Im going to try it with ground chicken and chicken granules next time and see how that tastes:)"

dockgirl User ID: 1591423 205354
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2011

"Excellent soup. Everyone loved it!"

debianntx User ID: 3730218 45803
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2011

"I loved this recipe. Would definitely make it again, great flavor."

jpsluis User ID: 2086387 87005
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2011

"This soup did not last long, it was delicious! Will be making it again."

DennieZim User ID: 1497682 89856
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2011

"Love this soup! Have made it many times for my family, even the kids love it. A great meal for the fall and winter months."

jessweis79 User ID: 5354219 137625
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2011

"The soup has great flavor!! It was so filling and I have plenty leftover. This was my first time eating lentils and barley. Thank you so much for this recipe, it will be added to my favorites to make over and over again."

ChefLynnie917 User ID: 3095721 54372
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2011

"I followed this recipe exactly, and found virtually no liquid in the crockpot when I got home from work. Plus, only 1/4 t. of lemon-pepper hardly gave the broth any flavor. I ended up adding a significant amount of lemon-pepper to additional broth, I also added some garlic powder, 2 bay leaves and italian seasoning - and I still felt like it needed something. This was a disappointment to me. :-("

kerrynjames User ID: 5662698 53907
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2011

"I was really, really excited to make this dish... I used chuck roast, cut up and seared, rather than ground beef. The beef turned out delicious, but the stew overall was a bit bland. I will make it again, as I like the basic idea, but next time I'm adding some spices (I have a tasty mild chili recipe that I'll scalp for suggestions)."

dollargirl User ID: 939213 89855
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2011

"My family asks for this soup again and again. The kids don't realise there are so many healthy ingredients that they would normally turn away from."

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 126013
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2011

"This was really good and it made a lot of soup. I hope it freezes well!"

Countrydeb User ID: 3842320 45976
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2011

"I forgot to mention, I made this soup on top of the stove. I didn't realize it until I was about to make it that the recipe was for a slow cooker. I will make this again & on top of the stove. It didn't take long at all to make it, about a hour."

Countrydeb User ID: 3842320 53906
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2011

"I just finished making this is so good! Instead of ground beef, I used diced small stew beef cubes. I have a daughter that has Autism she doesn't like ground beef, it's a textured thing. I didn't have the beef granules, so I used (Herb*Ox) 4 beef Bouillon Cubes, my store didn't have Hunt's stewed tomatoes, so I used store brand, the tomatoes were big chunks so I had to squished them smaller. It's a very comforting kind of soup. I will be making this again and the way I made it. Thanks Taste of Home!"

DAytes User ID: 751590 84510
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2010

"This is honestly one of the best beef and vegetable soups I have ever made. My family just loves it! I make it for them often in the winter."

wiscook User ID: 1143528 84509
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2010

"I cut out the tomatoes, added in more boullion, and thyme, marjoram and rosemary (per other beef barley recipes on the TOH website). Very good. Would consider adding in green beans or corn next time"

daisey5 User ID: 146806 53904
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2010

"I used ground turkey in place of the beef. It was still good."

Isty User ID: 596894 133550
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2010

"This was a wonderful meal on a cold day. I substituted ground moose for the beef. The kids loved it and even had thirds. Thanks for the recipe."

Lornamae User ID: 498480 38754
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2009

"Delicious! Very easy to prepare. Will certainly make it again.


lssrls User ID: 1447889 89854
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2008

"This was wonderful!!! I also used regular potatoes and it was great. Will make this often, new recipe for us."

lbsmama25 User ID: 2916358 61505
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2008

"This soup was excellent. It came out tasting so delicious and was easy to prepare. I will cook this again."

twinkle8o3 User ID: 1013923 84507
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2008

"LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! This is a definite keeper and I will make it often. Delicious! I used regular potatoes as opposed to red potatoes, but that is the only thing I changed."

kre8tvtee User ID: 3390842 126012
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2008

"I will make this for sure - was wondering what to do with the lentils in my pantry. I'm thinking I'll make it even more heart healthy by replacing at least some of the beef with 97% FF ground chicken. Hubby is recovering from triple bypass so we are really watching the red meat intake. With that and the low fat, low sodium broth this will be a keeper.


kennedyjl User ID: 3343411 54371
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2008

"This soup was excellent. I actually doubled the recipe (and added quite a bit more beef bouillon)so I was able to feed the family, freeze a batch for another night, plus send some to work with hubby so he and his co-workers would have a nutrious lunch rather than fast food! I will make this again many times!"

mary2171 User ID: 849290 61474
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2008


I made this soup for supper tonight and it was delish!!!  I didn't put the soup in the crock pot as I had a late start to the day and I like to make soup ahead and let it season.  I used 4 cups of beef broth, low sodium and the rest of the liquid I used water.  I just let the soup simmer on the stove, till it was done and all the veggies, barley and lentil were cooked.
VERY GOOD!!!!  A Keeper for sure!!

designingdiva User ID: 2880432 38718
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2008

"I was dissapointed that after 8 hours, the lentils and carrots were not cooked :(

Overall flavor was just 'OK'"

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