Vegetable Barley Soup

Can’t stop, won’t stop with the yummy soups over here! Soup is easy, soup is filling, soup is an easy way to pack some more vegetables into your day, and soup (usually) freezes well. This week I’m bringing you this awesome Vegetable Barley Soup that is packed with tons of color, texture, and flavor. And […]

The post Vegetable Barley Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Can’t stop, won’t stop with the yummy soups over here! Soup is easy, soup is filling, soup is an easy way to pack some more vegetables into your day, and soup (usually) freezes well. This week I’m bringing you this awesome Vegetable Barley Soup that is packed with tons of color, texture, and flavor. And thanks to a healthy dose of barley, it’s also super filling. I’m so glad this recipe makes a huge batch because I’m going to be living off the frozen leftovers of this soup for the rest of winter!!

Homemade Vegetable Barley Soup

Overhead view of Vegetable Barley Soup in a red pot with bread and parsley on the side

What is Barley?

Barley is a short, chewy grain that is great in soups, stews, salads, pilafs, and more. You can usually find it in the grain section of your grocery store, near rice and dry beans. It’s usually labeled “pearled barley” which simply means the outer husk and some of the bran has been removed. Barley does contain a small amount of gluten, so it is not considered a gluten-free food. 

Can I Substitute the Barley?

Yep! If you’re not into barley or can’t find it, you can use another grain, like farro or wheat berries, or even pasta. A small shape, like ditalini would be awesome.

Can I Use Other Vegetables?

The beauty of this Vegetable Barley Soup is that it is extremely versatile. You can add just about any vegetable to this soup, which makes it great for using up odds and ends of vegetables in your refrigerator and freezer. I used onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, carrots, potato, frozen green beans, frozen corn, and frozen peas, but you could also substitute or add in any of these vegetables:

  • Celery (add in the beginning with onion)
  • Zucchini (add at the end with green beans and peas)
  • Spinach (add at the very end, stir in until wilted)
  • Mushrooms (add in the beginning with onion)
  • Cabbage (add in the beginning with carrots)
  • Kale (add mid-way, with potatoes)
  • Beans (kidney, chickpeas, cannellini, add mid-way with potatoes)

Broth Matters

Vegetable broth carries a lot of the flavor in this soup, so make sure you use a quality vegetable broth, or one that you know you like. As always, I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth. It is full-flavored and I can mix up any amount I need when I’m cooking, without having leftovers go to waste.

Close up of a ladle full of Vegetable Barley Soup being held over the soup pot.

How Much Vegetable Barley Soup Does This Make?

This recipe makes a whopping 12 cups, which I would consider to be about 6 large 2-cup servings. Since the soup is mostly vegetables, I usually go with a slightly larger serving size. This is also a very thick soup once finished, so if you prefer it to be a little more brothy, you can add more vegetable broth and the yield will be even higher.

Can You Freeze Vegetable Soup?

Yes! This soup freezes great. Some people find that potatoes change in texture slightly when frozen and thawed, but it’s not something that I’ve ever noticed or that has bothered me, especially when in a soup.

What Do You Serve with Vegetable Barley Soup?

This soup is just asking for a nice piece of buttered crusty bread for dipping! I would go with something with a lot of texture, like a homemade no knead bread, cornbread, or sour dough. I wouldn’t even be against dropping a few cubes of Swiss cheese into this soup, for a little melty goodness in each bite!

Close up side view of Vegetable Barley Soup in the soup pot

 

Vegetable Barley Soup

Loaded with colorful vegetables and filling pearled barley, this Vegetable Barley Soup is a healthy, freezer-friendly staple recipe for winter!

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4) ($0.45)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes ($1.59)
  • 1 cup pearled barley ($0.89)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.78)
  • 1 russet potato (about 3/4 lb.) ($1.22)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans ($0.271)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn ($0.10)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas ($0.19)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.03)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley (optional garnish) ($0.20)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

  2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the carrots to the soup pot, along with the canned diced tomatoes (with juices), barley, basil, oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, and vegetable broth.

  3. Stir the contents of the pot to combine, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the soup simmer, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  4. While the soup simmers, peel and dice the potato into 1/2-inch cubes. After the soup has simmered and the barley is mostly tender, add the diced potatoes and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more, or just until the potatoes are tender.

  5. Once the potatoes are tender, add the frozen green beans, corn, and peas. Stir to combine, and heat through (about 5 minutes in the simmering soup).

  6. Finally, add the lemon juice to the soup and stir to combine. Taste the soup and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. Serve hot, with fresh chopped parsley on top as a garnish, if desired.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Front view of a ladle full of Vegetable Barley Soup hovering over the pot full of soup.

 

How to Make Vegetable Barley Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot (mine is 6 qt.) along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Broth being poured into soup pot with vegetables and barley

While the onion and garlic are cooking, peel and slice 1/2 lb. of carrots (about 4 medium carrots). Add the carrots to the soup pot along with one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup pearled barley, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, and 6 cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

Diced potatoes being poured into soup

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer, lid in place, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. While the soup simmers, peel and dice a russet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. After simmering 30 minutes, add the diced potato and simmer 10 minutes more.

Frozen vegetables being poured into the soup

After simmering 10 minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Add 1 cup frozen green beans, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and 1/2 cup frozen corn to the soup. Stir to combine, and heat through (about 5 minutes).

Season finished vegetable barley soup

Finally, stir 1 Tbsp lemon juice into the soup. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking (I added a touch more pepper, but no salt). Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetable barley soup with bread on the side

YUMMMM. Vegetable-y goodness got me all warm and cozy!

The post Vegetable Barley Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mushroom Barley Soup

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days! Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked. Mushrooms: both dried and fresh! If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes. For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!

Mushroom barley soup

Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked.

Mushroom barley soup

Mushrooms: both dried and fresh!

If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes.

For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve never worked with them before, here’s the down-low on using dried mushrooms:

  • Use any type. For this mushroom barley soup, you can use whatever type of dried mushroom you find at the store. Porcini is likely the easiest to find, but any will do.
  • Soak before using. Dried mushrooms needs to be dehydrated before using. For this recipe, you’ll soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes before adding to the soup.
  • Use the soaking liquid too. You’ll also pour in the mushroom soaking liquid into the soup, since that has lots of flavor too! Just make sure to strain out the liquid to make sure there are no tough parts of the mushrooms included.

Want more? Here’s all you need to know about working with dried mushrooms.

Barley soup

Tips on making mushroom barley soup

This mushroom barley soup is warming and cozy, but you can make it literally any time of the year. Packed with whole grains and vegetables, it’s a restoring, healthy dinner recipe or perfect for lunch. This soup is pretty straightforward to make, after you keep in mind the notes on using dried mushrooms above. Other than that, you’ll find it’s similar to many soup recipes you’ll find. Here are a few notes on this soup:

  • Speed it up with knife skills. The easiest place to get time savings in cooking is knowing your knife skills! To brush up, head to our Knife Skills 101 or click the links to the vegetables in the recipe below.
  • Try homemade veggie broth. Did you know you can make your own vegetable broth? It’s super easy and a great way to use up leftover veggies. Go to How to Make Vegetable Broth.
  • To make it more filling, add white beans. The soup is seriously good and filling on its own. If you want to take it up a level, add 1 15-ounce can of white beans with all the veggies. It adds even more plant based protein to keep you full!
  • Is barley gluten free? No! Barley contains gluten, so it’s not part of a gluten free diet.
Mushroom barley soup

What to serve with barley soup

How to make this mushroom barley soup into a meal? With soup, it’s all about the right sides. Here are some of our favorites to add to this one:

Mushroom barley soup

This barley soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Mushroom barley soup

Mushroom Barley Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of room temperature water for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery. Slice the baby bella mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced baby bella mushrooms, soy sauce, and basil. Cook 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Stir in the barley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and kosher salt.
  4. Bring to simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes until barley is soft. Whenever the dried mushrooms are finished soaking (likely around when the simmering starts), remove and rinse them, then add them to the soup. Pour the remaining liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the soup (this avoids any tough particles).
  5. Finish the remaining simmering time, then taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve warm.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Barley Soup, Mushroom Barley Soup, Vegetable Barley Soup

Mushroom recipes

Mushroom obsessed like we are? Here are a few more recipes you might enjoy:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes