minestrone lentil barley soup

Instant Pot Lentil Barley Minestrone

My mom’s minestrone soup has always been one of my favorite foods. There is so much variety of colors and textures. Adding chewy barley makes it even better, as I recently discovered! Think of it as the perfect blend between beef barley soup and minestrone.

There are some pretty bland minestrone soup recipes out there, but this one is not one of them! It’s tomato-y, herby, and well-seasoned. WAY better than Olive Garden’s, which is one of those bland versions in my opinion. This is the perfect healthy meal to serve to a mixed group, since no one will have time to miss meat or cheese with all that’s going on here. Add a crisp green salad and some crusty bread, and you have a really beautiful, complete meal.

It doesn’t get much healthier than pure vegetables, beans, lentils, and barley! It’s filling, yet packed with nutrition. Make it in the Instant Pot, or a crock pot, or on the stove.

It’s very forgiving and flexible, too. Use whatever vegetables you need to use up, the more variety the better!

To make it gluten-free simply omit the barley. Still delicious!

5 from 1 vote
minestrone lentil barley soup
Instant Pot Lentil Barley Minestrone
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Release time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 12 mins
 

A whole-food, plant-based delicious soup that is the perfect warm and hearty cold-weather meal!

Servings: 8 servings
Author: Faithful Plateful
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped veggies (potatoes, zucchini, squash, peas, or others you like)
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup green or brown lentils
  • 3/4 cup uncooked barley
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 can beans (kidney, white, or garbanzo)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. In the instant pot, set the Saute feature for 5 minutes, and saute the onions, celery, carrots, and tomato paste. Add splashes of water as necessary to prevent sticking.

  2. When time is up, add the garlic, oregano, thyme and salt and pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pot well, so there is nothing stuck to the bottom. Anything stuck on sets off the burn warning.

  3. Add all the remaining ingredients except beans, spinach and lemon juice. Set to pressure cook for 12 minutes. When time is up, do not use quick release. Let it naturally release to finish cooking, at least 30 minutes.

  4. Finish the soup by adding the beans, spinach, and squeezing in the juice of a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste, and additional red pepper flakes if desired for a bit of heat.

To make in the Crock Pot:
  1. Put everything in a crock pot EXCEPT the beans, spinach and lemon juice. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours, until barley and lentils are cooked through.

    Finish the soup by adding the beans, spinach, and squeezing in the juice of a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste, and additional red pepper flakes if desired for a bit of heat.

To make stove-top:
  1. In a soup pot, saute the onion, carrots, celery tomato paste in a splash of water. Cook until onions are soft, about 7-10 minutes.

  2. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, lentils, barley, broth, water, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

  3. Bring the soup to a simmer, and let simmer on low heat about 40 minutes, or until lentils and barley are cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent settled vegetables from burning.

  4. Finish the soup by adding the beans, spinach, and squeezing in the juice of a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste, and additional red pepper flakes if desired for a bit of heat.

 

Adapted from Cookie and Kate’s Minestrone Soup. 



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2 Comments

  1. I made this last night and love it!! What is the reason for the lemon? I don’t cook very much so I was confused! I used everything in the recipe and it is so delicious! Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! A little acid (like lemon juice) really brightens the flavor of soups. It’s optional, though!

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