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Easy Vegetable Barley Soup

This hearty tomato-based vegetable barley soup recipe features potatoes, celery, onions, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach for a power-punch of protein, calcium, and a plentiful host of other nutrients. It can be a one-pot recipe for stovetop or even made in a slow cooker. Cornbread recipe link included.

Vegetable Barley Soup

We love this vegetable barley soup recipe because it’s…

  • Loaded with wholesome ingredients
  • Packed with health-promoting fiber
  • Flavorful
  • Herby
  • Warm & comforting
  • Perfect any time of the day
  • Simply delicious!

Vegetable and barley soup from a former veggie-hater

My sister–a former veggie-hater–came up with this delicious old fashioned vegetable barley soup. She has obviously recovered from her veggie-hating days and is now a healthy, plant-based eater that is off all of her medications.

What I love about this vegan soup recipe is that any vegetables you have on-hand will make great additions.

Broccoli florets on table.

Vegetable options for barley soup recipe

  • potatoes
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • green beans
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • so many more…
diced onions on cutting board

Another great thing is that the vegetables used can be fresh or frozen. Either way, this soup is delicious.

UPDATE: I now have a delicious Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder that is a wonderful addition to soups, beans, and so much more!

vegetable bouillon powder in a glass jar with lid on a white wooden table
HomemadeVegetable Bouillon Powder.

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Frozen mixed vegetables to be used in vegetable barley soup
Even frozen vegetables will be fabulous in this soup.

How to make homemade vegetable barley soup

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

What I really love about this recipe is that it can be made completely from start to finish in one pot or even a slow cooker.

In a large stockpot, add water, barley, onions, cauliflower, and potatoes. Allow it to come to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Add all other ingredients (except the spinach). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  If using a slow cooker, set to low and allow to cook for 3-4 hours.

Add spinach leaves and allow to wilt, approximately 3-5 minutes.

I like to use Tony’s Creole Seasoning in this soup. It adds such a great spicy flavor.  Be forewarned that it has a slight punch. If you do not like your soup a little spicy, begin with 2 Tbsp, or less. Taste and add to your preference.

Remove from heat and serve. I love this with cornbread. I’ve included the link to my cornbread recipe below.

My sister’s plant-based health recovery

For a full year, my sister watched my health improve and was happy for me. But, she repeatedly told me she couldn’t do it because she hated vegetables.

We sat in our mom’s kitchen, and I asked her if she really hated ALL veggies, or only some, and asked her to tell me some she liked. She reluctantly named a couple–potatoes & pickles, if I remember correctly.

Then I named a few and asked her if she liked them. Some she did, some she didn’t. “Definitely not broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or cucumbers!” After a couple of minutes, I told her she liked enough veggies, fruits, grains, beans, pasta, etc. to easily do this.

In less than one year, she was down 50 lbs and off all of her medications for allergies and hormonal/menopause meds. Previously, she had high blood pressure and the doctor wanted to put her on something for it. She was also anemic.

plant based diet weight loss before and after. recipe author
My sister’s before & after photo.

Just like me, she experienced swollen and painful joints (our mother has Rheumatoid Arthritis), along with tingling and numbness in some areas.

Now, her blood pressure and cholesterol are in excellent ranges, she is no longer anemic, and her doctors are astounded. AND, her taste buds are changing majorly! She now likes many more veggies, including cucumbers and cabbage.

When I asked her to tell me how she feels now, compared with how she felt before, she said,

I think the most satisfying thing to me is that I feel like I’m on a positive path. I’m in control, my body is not controlling me. I feel so good! Like my body is finally working with me, and not against me.”

 

vegan cornbread slice on silver plate with cast iron pan in background
Cornbread really can be made healthy and delicious.

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Other great soup recipes

hearty barley vegetable soup

Vegetable Barley Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This hearty tomato-based vegetable barley soup features potatoes, celery, onions, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach for a power-punch of protein, calcium, and a plentiful host of other nutrients. Cornbread recipe link included. 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked barley
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup cauliflower, in bite size
  • 2 -15 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes, or roast your own fresh tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • large handful fresh spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, add water, barley, onions, cauliflower, and potatoes. Allow to come to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes. This can easily be done in a slow cooker as well.
  2. Add all other ingredients (except spinach)--ADD: celery, carrots, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato juice, Tony's seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. NOTE: Tony's Creole seasoning has a slight punch. If you do not like your soup a little spicy, begin with 2 Tbsp, or less. Taste and add to your preference. If using a crockpot, set to low and allow to cook for 3-4 hours. 
  3. Add spinach leaves and allow to wilt, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve. I love this with cornbread. I've included the link to my cornbread recipe below.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 10gProtein: 11g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

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Vegetable Barley Soup
Hearty and delicious vegetable barley soup.

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Anita Stephenson

Sunday 13th of January 2019

The soup looks great. Is there anything else I can use for the spices other than Tony’s creole seasoning?

EatPlant-Based.com

Monday 14th of January 2019

Anita, Tony's creole can be left out completely. If you want to add a little more flavor, any combination of some of these will help--paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme, and granulated garlic.

Dawn

Tuesday 10th of July 2018

I love this soup. Make it often.

janet

Wednesday 27th of January 2016

I made this tonight. So good and easy thanks for the recipe!

EatPlant-Based.com

Thursday 28th of January 2016

You're SO welcome, Janet. Glad you liked it!