This vegetable barley soup is the ultimate in healthy comfort food. Fresh seasonal veggies are simmered with heart-healthy barley in this easy one-pot soup.
With the recent spate of cold wet weather we've been having, I found myself craving a big bowl of soup.
I wanted something healthy (to make up for all the baking I've been doing recently) and satisfying, so I decided to make a vegetable and barley soup.
It helps of course that this is a one-pot recipe, making it simple to throw together during the week. (For more of my favorite one-pot recipes, grab this free printable e-book.)
Vegetable and barley soup reminds me of a soup my grand-mom used to make when I was a little girl. When we visited, we'd often find that she'd have a big pot of soup bubbling away on the stove.
I think this is where my love of soups comes from.....I guess that's also what happens when you grow up in the north, where the winters are bitterly cold.
Barley, if you're not familiar with it, is a grain derived from grass. It's health benefits include the fact it is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, assists in lowering cholesterol and aids in regulating blood sugar.
Aside from it's health benefits, barley is super filling, making it a great addition to soups.
For more amazing ways to eat barley, check out my barley risotto, burghul pilaf, or this barley and mushroom salad.
This vegetable barley soup is:
- Packed with nutritious veggies and healthy barley.
- Totally delicious.
- 100% vegan and vegetarian friendly
- Filling enough to serve for dinner.
- An easy one-pot vegetarian meal!
How to Make Vegetable Barley Soup
You won't believe how incredibly easy this hearty soup is to make!
Start off by cooking some onion, celery, shallot, and garlic in a bit of olive oil.
Add some fresh carrots, zucchini, parsnips, and mushrooms to the mix and cook until they are softened and just a bit caramelized.
Add ripe cherry tomatoes and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and cook for a minute more.
Then pour in your vegetable stock, a can of diced tomatoes, and the barley. Cover your pot and cook for one hour, until the barley is tender.
Tips for Perfect Barley Soup
- If you want to take your soup to the next level, consider trying your hand at homemade vegetable broth. You won't believe the difference in taste compare to the store-bought variety! Grab my vegetable stock recipe here.
- Experiment with your own favorite mix of fresh veggies - you can mix and match this recipe to suit whatever produce is in season near you.
- For a gluten-free alternative, try substituting quinoa or brown rice for the barley.
- For more easy dinner ideas, be sure to grab this free printable of my favorite one-pot recipes.
Vegetable and Barley Soup
- 1 onion diced
- 1 shallot diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 8 mushrooms cleaned and diced
- 1 parsnip peeled and diced
- 2 zucchini diced
- 12 cherry tomatoes chopped into quarters
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes canned
- 2 cups barley
- 8 ½ cups vegetable stock
- In a large soup pot, over medium heat, saute the onion, shallot, celery and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent.
- Add the carrot, parsnip, mushrooms and zucchini and cook for 8-10 more minutes, until they start to soften and slightly caramelize.
- Then add the cherry tomatoes and thyme and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and barley.
- Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the barley is tender, stirring occasionally.
Need more incredible soup recipes? Check out this Vegan Pho Soup or this Thai Pumpkin Soup. They're both long-time reader favorites.
And don't forget to download this free printable of all my favorite one-pot recipes!
Katrina Bruce says
I'm going to do this soup in the slower cooker 2MORO do you think it will work out the same
Hi Katrina, I suspect it would be fine in the slow cooker. Let me know what you think 😀
Luv this recipe and tastes great - but it's so thick
with barley. I did exactly as the recipe. Did anyone
else discover this too.
Hi Pammie, sorry to hear your soup turned out so thick. Whilst the one I made had a relatively large amount of barley it wasn't thick. Maybe you will need to reduce the barley by half next time. Glad to hear you enjoyed it nonetheless. 🙂
Love the pictures! Making this tomorrow/making a big batch in hopes that I can munch on it until we have Thanksgiving here in the states. The cold has just recently hit my state pretty good so this'll keep me warmed up!
Thanks for stopping by Kara. 🙂 How did the soup turn out?
Pretty. Good. Food. says
I love barley soup. Perfect fall soup, can't wait to give this a try :)!
Thanks 🙂 Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.
Oh, yum! This is soooo perfect for fall!
Erika @ H&H in LA says
I just made barley soup today, too! It's so nice and chewy. I love it.
That's great, I'm glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Trudy~Veggie num num says
What a simple and delicious soup.. lots of lovely vegetables for loads of healthy flavour... yum!! Great recipe!
My recent post Super Simple Israeli Couscous Salad
Thanks Trudy 🙂 I love soup. I never realised how much soup I made until I started this blog. We had a storm earlier so today is perfect soup weather too.
I love this time of year- it's the perfect soup weather! I recently made tortellini sausage soup, but your soup looks WAY better!
My recent post Food in the News- Pumpkin Beer- Gelato University and the Sparkling Water Fountain of Paris
I love soup whether too but soon it will be too hot here for soup so I'm enjoying them while I can 🙂
I stumbled on your site while searching for a barley soup....and I m so glad to have found you.beautiful pictures and easy recipes...what more could one ask for.I particularly like the addition of parsnip in this recipe...never tried it in soups.
Will come back soon for more goodies!
Thanks for your kind words Tanvi and thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Ooh, I very much got into soups with the cold wet weather recently too. I ended up making Chinese noodle soups though, so nothing quite as hearty as this. My stomach feels full just looking at these photos (but I still want to eat the soup, regardless of whether I feel full!).
My recent post Your imagination vs chocolate cravings