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This hearty vegetable barley soup is cozy and delicious! Super easy to make, this healthy vegan soup is totally meal-worthy and perfect with a big crusty piece of bread.

It’s been a long winter! And even though we’re just into spring, it’s pretty darn cold out. It’s that time of year when I’m craving a bit hot bowl of soup and a healthy dose of vegetables. Old fashioned vegetable barley soup always hits the spot — in addition to checking both boxes, barley always makes a soup extra hearty.

That’s why this veggie barley soup is in constant rotation in my house as of late. As a added bonus, it’s really easy to make. I took a few shortcuts in this recipe, including using some frozen veggies.

Tip: Some veggies are best used fresh, but corn and peas are a couple of exceptions, and they work particularly well in soups like this one.

My vegetable barley soup turned out absolutely scrumptious. You’ll want to hang on to this one for those chilly days to come!

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegetable Soups
  • Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute with another high-heat oil if you’d like, but olive oil will give your soup the best flavor.
  • Onion.
  • Carrots.
  • Celery.
  • Garlic.
  • Vegetable broth. I used Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor, but free free to use any brand you enjoy!
  • Canned diced tomatoes.
  • Pearl barley. You can normally find this at the supermarket near the rice and other dried grains.
  • Spices. We’re using rosemary and thyme. I used fresh, but dried will work too — just cut the amounts by about half.
  • Fresh kale. You can use another leafy green if you’d prefer, such as spinach or chard.
  • Frozen corn.
  • Frozen peas.
  • Salt & pepper.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat up some olive oil in a large pot, then add diced onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for about 5 minutes, just until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook it with your veggies for about 1 minute.
  • Stir in your broth, tomatoes, barley and herbs. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes. Check your barley at this point — it should be a little firm but getting close to being done.
  • Add some fresh kale. It should start to wilt pretty quickly. Stir it in and let it simmer until it’s very tender. The barley should be done at about this point too.
  • Stir in your peas and corn. Cook them in the soup very briefly — these frozen veggies are actually already cooked, so they just need to warm up.
  • Take the pot off of the burner and season your soup with some salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegetable barley soup will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months. The barley will continue to suck up broth during storage — just add more when reheating the soup if you’d like.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this soup be made gluten-free?

Unfortunately, barely contains gluten, so you can’t make vegetable barley soup without gluten. You can, however, substitute another gluten-free grain such as quinoa or millet. You might need to adjust the simmer time depending on what type of grain you go with.

Can I make my vegetable barley soup with fresh peas? How about with fresh corn?

You can! Fresh peas and corn will take some time to cook (about 5 to 7 minutes) so add them a bit earlier in the cooking process.

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