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Farm-to-Fork Recipe: Barley and Lentil Soup with Kale

Farm-to-Fork Recipe: Barley and Lentil Soup with Kale

Farm-to-Fork Recipe: Barley and Lentil Soup with Kale

By Mary Hunt, MS, RDN

This is a family favorite and represents the Farm-to-Fork concept well!

Kale is a cooler-weather vegetable, but can be harvested locally. And because the recipe is plant-based it has a low carbon footprint. This soup is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins (A, C, K) and minerals, making it hearty and nutritious!

Barley and Lentil Soup with Kale

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1½ cups chopped onion  

3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon) 

2½ teaspoons ground cumin 

9 cups low or reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth  

2/3 cup pearl barley 

2/3 cup brown lentils, sorted, rinsed, and drained* 

1½ cups peeled carrots, sliced or diced 

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained  

5 cups packed, or more, coarsely chopped fresh kale 

2 teaspoons dried dill, or 2 tablespoons fresh dill 

Ground black pepper to taste 


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add chopped onion and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic and simmer for a minute. Add cumin and stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth, barley, and lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, tomatoes, and kale. Cover and simmer until barley, lentils, and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Season with dried or fresh dill, and pepper. If desired, thin with more broth or water.

 *Before cooking, it’s always best to rinse and sort your lentils, removing any dirt, stray pebbles, or twigs.   

 Makes approximately 12 – 1 cup servings. 

 Freezes well.


Mary Hunt is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has been serving the Fairfax and Washington metropolitan area since 1987. Her approach focuses on empowering her patients with optimism and providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve healthier eating habits as well as overall improved health and wellness. We’re proud to have her as part of our team!

Members of Eileen West, MD and Associates are eligible to receive a complimentary nutrition consultation with Mary annually at your convenience. Simply call our office to schedule your appointment.

Mary Hunt, MS, RDN

Mary Hunt, RD, has worked in Fairfax and Washington for over 30 years and promotes better eating patterns and overall wellness. Weight control, heart health, diabetes, GI illnesses, and child nutrition are areas of expertise. Her mindfulness-based strategy juggles work, life, and self-care. Mary, who graduated from Columbia University and Mary Washington College, values spending time with her family, traveling, and practicing yoga. She offers Complimentary nutrition consultations at Eileen West, MD and Associates.

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Areas of Expertise: Weight control,heart health,GI illnesses, diabetes, child nutrition

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