I've seen a lot of recipes for this soup; however, my mum-in-law adds tomato puree for a bit of a different flavour and she doesn't add any lentils or beans. It's thick, filling and delicious, and you could make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock.
Wow, this recipe is simple to make, absolutely delicious and there are no end of variations. The whole family enjoyed it and each time I serve it with a slight variation. Just what you need to come home to on a cold winter night. - 16 Sep 2010
Very easy, very tasty and a very nice difference to the normal run of pearl barley stews. Have to confess I succumbed to my carnivore cravings and added a pair of chicken thighs. - 20 Jan 2013
My best friend is Persian, and I love the rich flavour of Persian food. This soup is great and full of flavour. I've always tried to make Persian food myself, but whenever I've tried it doesn't taste the same as my best friend's mom. This is the closest I've gotten so far! Excellent recipe and really easy. Update: I've since made this dish countless times and it is definitely Persian approved! I do things slightly differently though. When I saute the onions I add the tumeric. I definitely add more then a teaspoon of tumeric. I keep adding pinches until the onions are a bright yellow-orange. I also add saffron, which makes this dish more authentic. I take a few saffron stems and mix them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water so it becomes a liquid, and I add it in the beginning to the onions. I also add the finely diced carrots when I add the barley, because I find it takes a while for the carrots to cook in this recipe. Fresh parsley is also a must, and I probablly add at least a cup of it finely chopped. And finally this recipe makes the barley into a thick stew, and it isn't really like a soup texture. If you want to to be soupy add more broth and decrease the barley. - 12 Feb 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)