Mesopotamian Barley, Lentil and Tahini Soup (Vegan)

Total Time
2hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs

From Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij. This is untrried by me so far, but I plan on making it this winter sometime. I'm wating to see if I get a handheld blender for Christmas.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, chili and garlic and stri fry for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chickpeas and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the barley, lentils, salt and pepper and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, partially cover and cook for 30 minutes until barley and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the tomatoes and herbs, cover and simmer over low heat for 40 more minutes longer.
  5. Add the tahini and lime juice.
  6. Using a hand held mixer, plunge it into the pot and puree some of the ingredients.
  7. If the soup is too thick, add some warm water and bring back to a boil. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding salt, pepper or lime juice as needed.
  8. Just before serving, pour the sooup into a tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with black pepper and parsley or a sprig of your favorite herb.
Most Helpful

Fantastic flavours! I halved this as I only cook for 2 and have plenty leftover for lunches. I also used kale instead of chard and had a few mushrooms I needed to use so threw them in. I thought it was fine without using the blender so didn't bother. I will be making this regularly! :)

lumen7 February 01, 2009

Lovely flavors. I multiplied this recipe by 4, and it made a very large stock pot full. I used a habanero I had and canned ceci beans instead of dried. I used some nice small french lentils and pearled barley. I used the rest of the ingredients as listed. This soup is surprisingly nice looking. I though that it might end up muddy looking, but it didn't. The fresh lime juice is a nice note, and the tahini was subtle. I didn't bother with the pureeing step, the soup had good body without. I did add in some baby spinach at the end, along with the chard which kept its' color. Thank you for posting this recipe, Ajo.

Chef Edlear January 29, 2009

First of all, there is no way this makes six servings. It's at least double that--this is a huge amount of soup. And that was after I scaled the recipe down by about 25%. I made a few other small changes. I used a minced jalepeno along with a little cayenne pepper. I used a can of garbanzos as I didn't realize the recipe called for dried beans. I didn't peel the tomatoes. I used dried dill. Also, there is nowhere in the instructions about when to add the chard (and I used kale because I couldn't find chard). So I added the kale right before I used the stick blender. The bottom line is that this is an excellent recipe, a very tasty and hearty soup that I will be enjoying for a long time. Thank you.

windhorse23 December 20, 2008