Vegetarian Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe

Bean and barley soup with vegetables
Bean and barley soup with vegetables photo by Foodcollection / Getty Images
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 65 mins
  • Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
Ratings (27)

This vegetarian and vegan recipe for a hearty homemade barley and vegetable soup is both healthy and filling. A meal in itself, you can add just about any veggies you want - green beans, peas or corn would all work well. If you're used to a more traditional beef and barley soup, go ahead and try this lower-fat and cholesterol-free version of a vegetarian bean and barley soup - you definitely won't be disappointed at all!

This simple and healthy soup recipe makes a more than ​a generous amount, so plan on having some leftovers!

If you like cooking with healthy whole grain barley, particularly in soups, you may also want to try this basic vegetable barley soup recipe.

Looking for more simple, healthy and nourishing vegetarian and vegan recipes? You can browse through all the vegetarian recipes here, or all the vegan recipes here

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of oil or vegan margarine
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced
  • Any other vegetables desired, about 1/2 cup each (I like cauliflower and zucchini)
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth (you can also use half and half, or water with a vegetarian bouillon cube)
  • 1 cup pearled barley, uncooked
  • 1 cup pinto or white beans, cooked or canned
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt (optional but adds a nice flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano or Italian spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. onion powder (optional)
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

How to Make It

  1. In a large soup or stock pot, sautee the onions and garlic in the oil or vegan margarine for a minute or two, then add the celery, carrots and any other vegetables you are using for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the vegetable broth or water and all the other remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once your soup is simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover your pot. 
  3. Allow your soup to simmer on the stove for at least thirty minutes and up to one hour, stirring occasionally, until the barley is soft and somewhat fluffy.
  1. Be sure to remove both of the bay leaves before serving your soup. Taste, and then add in more spices or a bit of optional salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Recipe note: All of the ingredients in this soup are both vegetarian and vegan. Need this recipe to be gluten-free as well? Just swap out the vegetable broth for water, or, use a homemade or gluten-free vegetable broth. Be sure to check the ingredients on your herbs and spices as well, as sometimes there's some gluten-containing additives which sneak in. 

More Vegetarian and Vegan Soup Recipes and Barley Recipes: