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Vegetable Barley Soup

  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Mmm…vegetable barley soup! You don’t have to wait for the weather to turn cold to simmer up a pot of this tasty vegetarian classic. It’s full of flavor, veggies, and love to fill your belly!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking pearl barley (see recipe notes)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 2 cups kale, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot set over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute for 5-10 minutes, or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and pearl barley. Cook, stirring constantly, to lightly toast the barley, for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue sauteing. The mushrooms will start to release their liquid.
  4. Add the broth or water, dried herbs, and bay leaf, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add the undrained diced tomatoes to the pot. Season well with salt and pepper. Raise heat again and continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until barley and vegetables are tender. Add the peas and continue simmering a few more minutes.
  6. Just before serving, remove the bay leaf, stir in chopped leafy greens and allow them to wilt in the residual heat. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.


  • Regular (i.e. not quick-cooking) barley can be used. Add an extra 20 minutes of initial simmering time.
  • To make gluten-free, swap the barley with quinoa.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: barley soup, vegetable barley soup, vegetarian barley soup, vegan barley soup, mushroom barley soup