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Winter Warmth Lentil, Barley, and Vegetable Stew

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Winter Warmth Lentil, Barley, and Vegetable Stew

Winter Warmth Lentil, Barley, and Vegetable Stew

Jessica Braider
This stew is brimming with beautiful colors and flavors that boost your immunity through the cold and flu season. If you want a meatier meal, add some ham to the stew just before adding the kale.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 carrots halved and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced, about 1 1/2 tsp.
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup pearl or quick-cooking barley or use farro
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid, plus 1 can water
  • 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 - 6 oz. kale chopped, or use spinach or Swiss chard
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the onions and carrots. Sauté it until the onions just begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, and barley and sauté them for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, water, and lentils, cover and bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer it for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.
  • Stir in the salt and kale, cover and simmer it for 5 - 8 more minutes until the kale is wilted.
  • Serve it immediately, topped at the table with the cheese, if desired, and seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Omit the oil. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker including the water, and with the exception of the cheese. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Top with the cheese at the table, if desired. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, halve and slice the carrots, peel the garlic, chop the kale, grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the stew.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic and/or serve the stew with a little hot sauce, such as Tabasco.
Tip: If you ever find that you need more oil in the pan while cooking, add it in a light stream along the very edge of the skillet. This way, by the time the oil reaches the ingredients being cooked, it will have heated up a bit already.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 188, Total Fat: 3g, 5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 4.5%; Cholesterol: 3mg, 1%; Sodium: 372mg, 15.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 33g, 11%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 38.5%; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 8g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Dairy-Free, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, High Fiber, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Slow Cooker, Soups & Stews, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
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