You will not miss the meat in this hearty, healthy 5 Vegetable Bean and Barley Soup. I make a big batch and serve it as a meal-in-a-bowl for lunch all week. The best…
I use onions, carrots, celery, butternut squash and spinach, but feel free to throw in whatever you have lying around in your fridge. Just keep in mind that certain veggies need less time to cook. There’s no need to worry about the exact amounts of vegetables in the recipe.
The soup is thick, comforting and full of flavour. I love eating it with warm bread smeared with butter. For me, that makes it a complete and satisfying meal on its own. Perfect for Fall or Winter.
Normally I would make this soup with beef as in our Beef Barley Vegetable Soup, but I was determined to make a vegetarian version for Jenna (the other kook) who just had a baby and is not eating enough vegetables these days in my humble mom opinion. She’s barely cooking for that matter. So I sent her off yesterday with a big container of this soup which she loved. And I got to feel better that I’m nourishing my daughter 🙂
Tailor To Your Taste
- Other vegetables you could try: parsnips, celeriac, green beans, pumpkin. Or add cauliflower or zucchini about 10 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Try other seasonings such as oregano, bay leaves, celery salt.
- Use whatever cooked beans you like – pinto, red kidney beans, etc.
- If you’re not a vegetarian, you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. You can also substitute the broth with bouillon cubes/powder and water.
- Substitute 4 cups of broth with a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes.
- Buy pre-peeled and cut butternut squash.
- Use frozen 1-teaspoon cubes of garlic and/or basil.
- Use the food processor for chopping the vegetables (as per recipe). Of course you can chop by hand if you don’t have a processor.
This soup can be kept in the fridge for a week and freezes well for a few months. It thickens quite a bit on standing as the barley absorbs the liquid, so add more broth or water if you want to thin it out a bit when you’re reheating it in the microwave or on the stove.
Vegetable Bean and Barley Soup Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 -3 cloves garlic
- 3 medium carrots, peeled
- 3 ribs celery
- 2 cup butternut squash, peeled
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 8 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 cup canned white kidney beans
- 3 cup packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil (or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- PREPARE VEGETABLES AND SAUTE: Cut onions, carrots, celery and butternut squash into 2 inch pieces. Vegetables will be processed in two batches in food processor. (Alternatively, all vegetables can be chopped by hand.) First, process garlic until finely chopped, then add onions and pulse into small pieces. In large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic to pot and saute. Second, pulse carrots, celery and butternut squash into a small dice (it's fine if a few pieces are larger). Add to pot and saute another 5 minutes.
- COOK SOUP: Stir in tomato paste. Add broth, barley, beans and all seasonings. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover, then lower heat and simmer for 50-60 minutes until barley is tender and fluffy.
- FINISH AND SERVE: Add baby spinach (I tear it up as I add it to pot). Stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings. Soup will thicken upon standing or in fridge. If too thick, add additional broth or water. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm crusty bread and butter or garlic croutons if desired. Keeps in fridge for a week. Freezes well.
Here’s a few other winter/fall soups you might want to try:
Beef Barley Vegetable Soup get the recipe
Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutons get the recipe
Roasted Vegetable and Rice Soup get the recipe