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Hamburger Lentil Soup

Made with healthy red lentils, barley, and ground beef – this hearty soup is perfect for a brisk fall or winter day.


  • 2 cups (500 mL) dry red lentils
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) pot barley
  • 10 cups (2.5 L) low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb (454 g) ground beef
  • 1 can (28 fl oz/796 mL) no-salt-added tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dash cayenne pepper


Combine lentils, barley and beef broth in a large stockpot or Dutch oven (you can make this in a slow cooker as well). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer ingredients for 30 minutes.

Dice onion and celery while lentils and barley are simmering.

Place ground beef into a large frying pan and brown the meat over medium heat. Cook until juices run clear and meat is no longer pink.

Add beef, celery, onion, tomatoes, salt (if using), pepper, bay leaf and cayenne pepper to the large pot. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soup has thickened.  Remove bay leaf before serving.


This soup goes great with a fresh loaf of crusty bread!

Reviews [2]

I liked it

I’m a dietitian working with Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan and this is one of my go to recipes when cooking out in communities. It’s easy to make, full of flavour and everyone always asks for seconds!