This vegetable barley soup is about to blow your mind. It’s gotten a major upgrade from the stuff I grew up eating out of a can. Also, it’s filled with heart-healthy ingredients that’ll fill your belly and your soul with goodness and comfort. Whether it’s cold or hot in your neck of the woods, pull out that stockpot and simmer up a pot of barley soup.
Is Barley Soup healthy for you?
It absolutely can be healthy… if you use nutrient-dense ingredients. My barley soup recipe is definitely healthy— it’s loaded with plant-based nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. In addition, soups like this vegetable barley soup are high in fiber and liquid, meaning that a hearty bowl will help you stay fuller for longer + not spike your blood sugar.
Honestly, my favorite thing about soup is the easy leftovers. I like to make huge batches of soup, freeze some of it and keep the rest in the fridge for a quick lunch. So when I’m craving Taco Bell (usually when I’m stressed and starving) I can pull this outta the fridge and have lunch ready in 10 minutes. That’ll usually curb the burrito craving for the day. 😉
Do you have to cook pearl barley before adding to soup?
Pearl barley doesn’t need to be pre-cooked before adding to the soup. But you could definitely cook it in advance. One thing I like to do is make a giant batch of barley and divide it between freezer-safe containers and store until I’m ready to use it in a recipe. Pearl barley is the most common type (and easiest to find), which is why I’m using it in vegetable barley soup. I try to keep things as easy as possible when food shopping and cooking.
How long does it take to cook barley?
Pearl barley does take a while to cook – upwards of 30-40 minutes sometimes. You can cut down on the cooking time by using quick cooking barley. Trader Joe’s is one store I know that sells 10-minute barley. In this recipe, we’re using the quick cooking barley. Yet you can totally use the other one if you have the time.
What are the best vegetables to put in soup?
The best vegetables to put in any veggie soup recipe are the ones you like! I’ll go even further to say that I tend to throw whatever leftover veggies I have in my fridge into soup – roasted veggies, greens, a little of this or that. In addition to broth and barley, here’s a few vegetables you can toss in for a major flavor win:
- green beans
For this vegetable barley soup recipe, I’ve chosen an array of veggies that you’d find in a classic barley soup. Yet I also added in chopped kale (because we’re all about the leafy greens around here).
In case you weren’t sure, feel free to substitute, add, or decrease the veggies to suit your personal preference. Above all, use what you can easily source and trust that this recipe is very forgiving! If kale isn’t your thing, try swiss chard or spinach.
I like adding mushrooms along with the vegetables too. They add fantastic savory flavor and texture.
More plant-based soups to try
Also, if you’re super excited about this vegetable barley soup, I have a feeling you’re going to like more of our recipes too. Check out more examples below:
- Ultimate Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Upgraded Vegetable Soup
- Split pea soup
- Vegetarian tortilla soup
- Carrot ginger soup