Diabetic Cooking

Vanda’s minestrone with barley and lentils

Preparation time: 25 minutes. Cooking time: 75 minutes.


  • 1 large carrot
  • 5–6 new potatoes (about 5 ounces; new potatoes can be bought fresh in the spring and early summer)
  • 1 leek
  • 4 large leaves green Swiss chard with stalks
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 quarts plus 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 2/3 cup lentils
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Wash all vegetables and cut into small pieces. Place olive oil and 1/4 cup water in a large soup pot. Mix in vegetables and herbs and cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 1 hour. While the mixture is cooking, fill a separate saucepan with 2 quarts of water. Add salt, barley, and lentils. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 40 minutes with the pot partially covered, stirring occasionally. Drain barley and lentils, and add to vegetables in last 10 minutes of cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with grated cheese.

Yield: 9 servings.

Serving size: 1 2/3 cups.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 160 calories, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 7 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: <1g, Cholesterol: 2 mg, Sodium: 190 mg, Fiber: 8 g