I have been buying 'Quick Soup Mix' in my local health food store for many years.
(Green split peas, Whole green lentils, Yellow split peas, Red split lentils, Pearl barley, Barley flakes)

The instructions always used to say, "just add to soups and stews". So I did.

Recently the instructions have changed to, "soak for 8-12 hours or overnight, drain, rinse thoroughly, boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 40 minutes".

There are websites (see below) that suggest it's simply about digestibility. In which case, why does it say to 'rinse thoroughly'?

I know that red kidney beans and soya beans contain toxins that must be soaked and boiled out.

All this has lead to my question, is there a website that covers all edible beans and pulses, and which details how and why they must/should/can be prepared?


  • did you have problems with just add to soups and stews all those years?
    – jsotola
    Nov 8, 2020 at 1:08
  • 1
    related: vegetarianism.stackexchange.com/questions/1477/… NB the toxic lectins in kidney, soya beans & others are not removed by soaking - they are only destroyed by heat.
    – Zanna
    Nov 8, 2020 at 2:13
  • jsotola, no I didn't -- at least not obviously, but some toxins accumulate. And I don't know if the ingredients have changed, which might explain the new instructions. @zanna, wow, thank you! For the beans clarification, and the brilliant article (how did I miss that one in search?).
    – AlanQ
    Nov 8, 2020 at 21:48
  • :) if the other post answers your question, I guess we could close this one as a duplicate, but it would be good to get a more specific answer for your case. Maybe I can try to find some research on soaking barley and peas. Soaking lentils has little effect on their digestibility as far as I could find out.
    – Zanna
    Nov 9, 2020 at 2:01
  • Hi @zanna. Would be great if you added those to your article. I have emailed the company -- when I get a reply I'll post anything enlightening here. Maybe delay closing as duplicate for a while...
    – AlanQ
    Nov 10, 2020 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Dry beans/pulses and grains should always be washed before cooking them as they are whole-foods grown in the natural environment. If you think about the growing, hulling, and processing procedure then (depending on where you purchase beans and grains) it's likely they've come into contact with other hands/grains which make them dirty.

You might wonder why we'd care if they were dirty if we soaked them and then cooked them, but if you (like me) have ever cooked a beet without thoroughly washing (I don't eat the skin), you'd know that the beet tastes dirty. The bean, similarly, will absorb the water it's boiled in and if that water is dirty the taste will be too.

In terms of it changing on packaging- it could be due to preprocessing changes or simply to avoid being sued. Many condiments do not need to be refrigerated after opening, but they are labeled that they should be to avoid any poor hygiene and subsequent bacterial growth that's blamed on the company. Some companies pre-process their beans/grains for quicker cooking by giving them a flash cook or pre-soak and then drying them before shipping them out, so that's another possibility.

In this case, your best case is to ask the company directly - especially considering that dry peas and lentils do not need pre-soaking.

The below article states that pearled barley cooks in 1/2 the time when soaked, but the texture and color changes as well.

Do I need to Soak my Grains

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