Lentil Barley Stew

"This is a simple, hearty stew adapted from the More with Less Cookbook. The crushed red pepper is my own addition, and of course it's optional if you don't like that sort of thing - but I like it to have a little zip."
photo by lauralie41 photo by lauralie41
photo by lauralie41
Ready In:
1hr 20mins




  • Saute celery, garlic and onion in butter in a large pan (I use a 5-qt dutch oven).
  • Add water or stock and lentils.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, barley, carrots and seasonings.
  • Simmer for 45-60 minutes, till barley and lentils are tender, adding more stock if necessary.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Amber
    Husband made this and added red bell peppers, sliced carrots instead of shredded, and accidentally cooked the ever loving hell out of it at way too high a temperature. But then he added more broth and scraped it all up and it turned out AMAZING! Such great flavor and hearty consistency, you almost forget that there's no meat in it! Will definitely make again :)
  2. Mommy2.0
    I used beef stock, and added a chipolte bullion cube (found them at Walmart in the Mexican aisle). Served it over rice pilaf. It was good, hearty and filling.
  3. free-free
    Great, hearty filling stew...perfect for a cold winters nite...loved the extra kick &heat of red pepper- I used seeds from my own dehydrated hot peppers and a bit more then suggested...I also added my own other seasonings in during the sauteing stage and more to taste as I went with it...Used all veggie stock & ended up using red split lentils ('cause I wanted to save my whole ones for sprouting) and ended up really pleased with the way they creamed into the texture...the carrot and tomato lent a nice sweetness that balanced the spicy and nutty notes... Thanks pattikay! ->->->Made playing "I Recommend..." and yes I do!!!... :)
  4. BlessedOne
    Terrific! I made this tonight with #209011 and it was a good combination. I used 2 cups of chopped tomatoes from my garden, for half a recipe; and I didn't use celery. Used about 1/16th tsp. of cayenne powder, which was mild, but worked for my tender children.
  5. Michelle from Central Time
    I'm going to have to try your version with the crushed red pepper, but rather than enter the original as a separate recipe I will just say that I have been making this for years from the same cookbook. The original has rosemary instead. We also use petite diced tomatoes. We have scaled it down some, but I love it, and all my picky friends are excited when I make it, and it's easy to throw together from the pantry/freezer, just needs the time to simmer.


  1. Aunt Cookie
    We loved this recipe (which is good, because it makes a LOT of food). We used a lot more garlic and replaced half of the tomatoes with Rotel (chopped tomatoes with peppers added). Thanks for sharing this, Pattikay...I think this is going to be a repeated winter meal.
  2. lauralie41
    Pattikay thank you so much for posting this great recipe! I wish I could give you more than 5 stars. I used olive oil instead of butter to saute the celery, onion, and garlic. Picked up concentrated crushed tomatoes but it worked out very well. Also used 4 cups of beef broth and two cups of water. Did not add the red pepper flakes because DH doesnt care for them but they would have been a nice addition. Couldnt find barley so I used quick cooking barley and added it after the lentil mixture had simmered 40 minutes. Served over brown rice and I think whole grain pasta would be very nice too. Wonderful flavors!! Even those who do not care for lentils or barley would enjoy this.


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