Skip to Content

Vegetable Barley Soup

Sharing is caring!

Vegetable Barley Soup is a hearty, filling vegan soup that uses pearled barley, vegetables, white beans, spices and herbs to create a light soup that your family will love. Barley is a healthy grain with a chewy texture that works nicely in this soup along with the fresh vegetables, and herbs. This soup is perfect for the colder months.

Vegetable Barley Soup with gold spoon.

VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP

I have been wanting to share a soup recipe using barley with you guys for some time. I finally got around to it and I am so glad I did. 

If you haven’t tried barley before it is a healthy grain with a chewy texture. It works great in soups because it holds up well and doesn’t get mushy. 

Barley is rich in many nutrients and packs some impressive health benefits like improved digestion and weight loss to lower cholesterol levels and a healthier heart.

This Vegetable Barley Soup is nice and light but also a hearty soup. I love making it in the winter months and eating it throughout the week. The leftovers are great and last all week long or you can freeze half for later.

You can swap out the barley if that isn’t your thing for other grains like brown rice, quinoa, farro or bulgur wheat. 

One of my favorite things about this hearty vegetable barley soup is that you can really add anything you have in the fridge. I like to think of it as a fridge clean-out. If you have leftover green beans or broccoli throw that in.

Do you have herbs that are about to go bad? They would be great in this soup. 

How about protein like shredded chicken? If you aren’t looking for a vegan soup then add the chicken to bulk this soup up. 

I often have this easy soup on rotation with this Vegetable Soup with Cabbage, Vegetable Bean Soup or this White Bean Soup. 

Vegetable Barley Soup with blue napkin.

WHAT IS BARLEY?

Did you know that barley is one of the most widely consumed grains in the American diet? I didn’t know that and loved hearing it.

It is a healthy grain that is perfect in this vegetarian soup.

This versatile grain has a somewhat chewy consistency and a slightly nutty flavor that can complement many dishes.

It’s also rich in many nutrients and packs some impressive health benefits, ranging from improved digestion and weight loss to lower cholesterol levels and a healthier heart.

IS BARLEY HEALTHY?

Barley is a very healthy grain and great to add to your diet.

It is rich in minerals, vitamins and other beneficial plant compounds.

It’s also high in fiber, which is responsible for most of its health benefits, ranging from a better digestion to reduced hunger.

Barley is not a gluten-free option but if you are looking for one switch it for quinoa or bulgur wheat. 

Vegetable Barley Soup ingredients.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED FOR VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP?

GARLIC

VEGETABLES: ONION, CARROTS, CELERY

SPICES: BASIL, THYME, PAPRIKA, CRUSHED RED PEPPER

CANNELLINI BEANS

PEARLED BARLEY

DICED TOMATOES

TOMATO PASTE

SPINACH

VEGETABLE STOCK

Vegetable Barley Soup in white bowl.

HOW TO MAKE THIS VEGGIE BARLEY SOUP?

SAUTE THE VEGETABLES: In a large pot heat the 2 tbsps. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, carrots and celery and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

ADD THE SPICES: Add the basil, thyme, crushed red pepper, paprika, salt and pepper and sauté for another minute.

ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth and stir. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the barley is soft.

ADD THE SPINACH: Add the spinach and continue to simmer on low until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

SERVE THE SOUP WITH GARNISHES: Remove from the heat and serve the soup in individual bowls. Add fresh parsley, green onions and crushed red pepper. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. 

Vegetable Barley Soup in a big pot.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP RECIPE

BEANS: You can sub in black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or red beans into this soup. 

GRAIN: I really like the barley in this soup but you could use farro, bulgur wheat, brown rice or quinoa. 

VEGETABLES: Other vegetables that work nicely in this soup are green beans, broccoli, zucchini or bell peppers. 

SPICES: I like to sometimes add other spices like cumin, coriander or curry powder to this soup. 

CHEESE: If you like to finish soups off with cheese try mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, goat cheese or feta cheese.

PROTEIN: You can easily add in a meat like shredded chicken, ground turkey or beef or shrimp. 

LENTILS: Lentils would be a great addition to this soup. You could add them in addition to the white beans or in place of them. 

BAY LEAVES: If you have bay leaves on hand add one or two to the soup when you simmer the soup. It will add flavor. 

LEMON JUICE: Lemon juice is a nice finishing touch to this soup. I like to just add about 1/2 of a lemon juiced. It adds a slight citrusy sweet flavor to the soup. 

Vegetable Barley Soup with spoon.

OTHER SOUP RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

MOROCCAN CARROT RED LENTIL SOUP

LEMON LENTIL SOUP

LEBANESE LENTIL SOUP

TUKISH LENTIL SOUP

HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP

SLOW COOKER MEXICAN CHICKEN LIME SOUP

ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Vegetable Barley Soup with logo.

Vegetable Barley Soup in white bowl.

Vegetable Barley Soup

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Vegetable Barley Soup is a hearty, filling vegan soup that uses pearled barley, vegetables, white beans, spices and herbs to create a light soup that your family will love. Barley is a healthy grain with a chewy texture that works nicely in this soup along with the fresh vegetables, and herbs. This soup is perfect for the colder months.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tps. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tps. crushed red pepper {optional}
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 - 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes in sauce {try fire roasted if you want extra flavor}
  • 2 tbsps. tomato paste
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup spinach {or greens of your choice}, optional
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Green onions, chopped for garnish

Instructions

    1. In a large pot heat the 2 tbsps. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
    2. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
    3. Add the basil, thyme, crushed red pepper, paprika, salt and pepper and sauté for another minute.
    4. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth and stir. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
    5. Add the spinach and continue to simmer on low until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
    6. Remove from the heat and serve the soup in individual bowls. Add parsley, green onions and crushed red pepper.

Notes

You can swap the barley for a different grain like quinoa, bulgur wheat, brown rice or farro.

The beans can be swapped for lentils, chickpeas, black beans, red beans or kidney beans.

CommentLuv badge
Skip to Recipe