November 1, 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup

I can't find the words to express how much I LOVE vegetable barley soup. Just look at that gorgeous color - it's one big veggie party! In the winter, I like to make use of any frozen veggies on hand (usually peas, corn, green beans, and broccoli.) Like a lot of soups, it's very versatile. Whatever you have, toss it in... no veggie left behind! Some others to include are cabbage (which I love in this), bell pepper, cauliflower, edamame, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, kale, celery, potato, sweet potato, etc. The nutty, chewy texture of the barley sends it over the top. Follow the recipe below, or use it as a general guideline and create your own healthy, colorful combination.

Vegan, gluten-free (if you use quinoa or rice instead of barley)

1 cup dry barley (or quinoa/rice for gluten-free)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 carrots
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen green beans
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth (+ 4 cups water)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt/pepper to taste

Cook barley according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and carrot. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, saute onion, carrots, garlic, basil, and parsley with salt about 7-8 minutes, or until onions and carrots have softened.
Add broth, 4 cups water, tomatoes with juice, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, then add cooked barley and frozen vegetables. Simmer for about 10 minutes until heated through. Remove bay leaves.
Salt/pepper to taste.

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  1. This looks amazing! I have to make this very soon!

  2. WOW this looks so hearty and delicious! perfect for the fall!

  3. This is the second time I've made this and it is *so good.* The only thing I changed was to add all chicken broth and no water (because I have so much chicken broth in the freezer), and it is very savory. Thank you for this recipe! ( I even pinned it to my "food i've actually made" board...ha!)

    1. Haha, yay Jacque!! So glad you're enjoying it - aren't veggie soups the best!? Especially when the weather starts to chill down :) Wishing you a lovely weekend!

  4. I have made this soup with barley [something my wife showed me 40 years ago] but plan to try it with quinoa next time I make veggie soup.
    Thanks for the idea.
    Question for you, can this be made in a crock pot w/o sauteing the carrots, onion and garlic??

    1. Hi there! Ooh, fantastic idea swapping out the barley with quinoa - I've tried that before as well, and it was awesome! I love the added texture (and nutritional oomph) ;) I can't speak from experience, but I bet it would be a great crock pot meal as well - would love to hear if you give it a try and how it went! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week!

  5. I am going to make this in the crock pot today! Will let you know how it turns out. Adding leftover chicken as well.

    1. Awesome!! Would love to hear how it turned out for you in the crock pot! :) Have a beautiful rest of the week! -Kaitlin