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Mary Berry's Puy lentil and pearl barley soup

Mary Berry / 03 October 2019

A deliciously healthy lentil soup recipe from Mary Berry which can easily be scaled up to feed a crowd.

Mary Berry's puy lentil and pearl barley soup
Mary Berry's puy lentil and pearl barley soup

Cooking time

1 hour 10 minutes




For 6 people

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g (3 1⁄2oz) dried Puy lentils
  • 100g (3 1⁄2oz) pearl barley
  • 680g jar passata
  • 1.5 litres (2 3⁄4 pints) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For 12 people

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 225g (8oz) dried Puy lentils
  • 225g (8oz) pearl barley
  • 2 x 680g jars passata
  • 3 litres (5 1⁄2 pints) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


This is a hearty, healthy lentil soup full of flavour and goodness. Serve it piping hot with some crusty bread.

1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, add the onion and carrots, and fry over a high heat, stirring, for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

2. Add the garlic, lentils, and barley and fry for 1 minute. Blend in the passata and stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and simmer for 40–45 minutes (50–55 minutes for 12) or until the lentils and barley are tender.

4. Add the sugar and vinegar, check the seasoning, and serve.

In the Aga

At step 3, cover with a lid and transfer to the simmering oven for 45–55 minutes.

Storage tips

Mary Berry's lentil soup can be made up to three days ahead, but it is not suitable for freezing.

Mary Berry Cooks Up a Feast

The new edition of Mary Berry Cooks up a Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young is published by DK (3 October 2019, £25)

See more fabulous recipes from Mary Berry

Visit our soup recipe section for a wide range of healthy winter warmers, including a creamy red lentil soup with cumin and Mary Berry's leek and potato soup recipe


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.