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Alberta Lentil, Barley & Meatball Soup

A hearty soup that’s a meal in a bowl!


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) dry soup mix (lentils, split pea, rice and/or pot barley)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 mL) carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) rutabaga, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sage
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth, sodium-reduced
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
  • Mini Meatballs

  • 1 lb (500 g) ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) slow cooking oats or barley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sage
  • Garnish

  • plain Greek yogurt
  • fresh or dried dill


In a large soup pot, place soup mix and water. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, turn off heat, cover and let stand for 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat canola oil and sauté 1/2 cup (125 mL) of onion for a few minutes, then add 2 cloves garlic, celery, carrots and rutabaga. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add vegetables to soup mix in the soup pot. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Mix together mini-meatball ingredients (ground turkey, onion, garlic, oats, pepper and sage). Spray a non-stick pan with oil. Scoop ½ tsp (2 mL) ground turkey and form into mini-meatballs. Fry until cooked through approximately 3-5 minutes. This makes about 95 mini-meatballs.

To the soup-vegetable mix, add cooked turkey meatballs, chicken stock, tomato paste, honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, pepper and remaining sage. Bring back to a boil and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings and thickness if necessary and simmer for several more minutes.

Garnish each bowl with 1-2 tsp (5 – 10 mL) plain Greek yogurt and fresh dill.


  • The dry soup mix can be found in the bulk foods section or soup section of the grocery store.
  • You can make your own soup mix by combining 1/2 cup (125 mL) of dry red split lentils, 1/2 cup (125 mL) green or yellow split peas, 1/4 cup (60 mL) long grain rice and 1/4 cup (60 mL) pearl or pot barley. If you don’t want to use rice and barley, you could use 1/2 cup (125 mL) rice or 1/2 cup (125 mL) barley along with the lentils and split peas.
  • Don’t feel like making mini meatballs? You can use 1 lb (500 g) frozen, precooked meatballs instead! Add the frozen meatballs directly to the soup-vegetable mix where you would be adding the cooked turkey meatballs and continue with the recipe.

Reviews [5]

I liked it

Gosh, this is delicious!
May use the instant pot to cook the lentils/ beans/ barley as it would sped up the process.
Found the recipe as written to be a bit confusing to follow. Would have preferred the meatballs ingredients/instructions to be altogether.