Without a doubt, vegetable soup is one of my favorite soups. But, I also like various types of vegetable soups, so I don't get bored with the same flavors. So, I decided to make a vegetable barley soup recipe to add a little pizzazz to my soup experience.
Recently, I roasted vegetables for a new Vegan Carrot Soup recipe I made. Because I loved the rich flavors, I chose to do the same for vegetable barley soup.
To use various veggies, I roasted some of the vegetables while I left the other vegetables raw to cook in the pot. As a result, the roasted vegetables season and flavor the soup, while the other vegetables are cooked al dente.
WHAT IS PEARL BARLEY?
Pearl barley, similar to other whole grains, is high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Although not gluten-free, pearl barley is processed to remove its outer hull, making it easier to digest.
Because pearl barley expands about three times its original size when cooked, it is often used in soups or stews. As a result, vegetable barley soup leaves you full and satisfied.
For that reason, I often serve vegetable barley soup as an entree with a small salad because it's so filling. So, if you're looking for a hearty, comforting soup, vegetable barley soup is for you.
COOKING BARLEY FOR VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP
When I make vegetable barley soup, I suggest cooking the barley separately. As a result, you will avoid overcooking the barley when cooking the soup.
Although most recipes include oil, barley can be cooked without oil or butter. And, to cook barley perfectly, you need to use a 2:1 ratio of water to barley. I also suggest, for example, including a bay leaf and little salt while cooking.
Like cooking quinoa, all the ingredients are added to a pot and then boiled, covered, and simmered. Barley, though, takes 45 minutes to cook. Then, it gets fluffed with a fork before serving, or in this case, used in a soup or stew.
PREPARING THE VEGETABLES FOR VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP RECIPE
As I said before, I chose to roast some of the vegetables while leaving the rest of the vegetables to be cooked in the soup pot.
First, I roasted half the sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and red bell peppers with balsamic, soy, dijon mustard, and fresh herbs.
Then, I added raw sweet potatoes, butternut squash with the following ingredients:
- Yellow onion
- Yellow summer squash
- Fresh herbs and spices
To allow everything to cook simultaneously, it is important to try to cut all the vegetables in a uniform size. For that reason, I used my favorite vegetable chopper with a large blade. As a result, all my vegetables are cooked perfectly every time.
PUTTING THE VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP TOGETHER
While the vegetable roast in the oven, I cooked the barley and chopped all my veggies.
Once the vegetables are roasted and cooled, I mashed them with a fork. Consequently, the combination of flavors enhances the savoriness of the vegetable barley soup recipe.
Next, saute the onions and garlic in a large soup pot until the onions are translucent. Then, I add other raw vegetables and vegetable broth.
Once it comes to a boil, cover the soup pot and reduce the temperature to simmer. Subsequently, the sweet potatoes and butternut squash will become soft.
Of course, the next step is to add the mashed-up roasted vegetables and the cooked barley. Once it is all heated through, it's time to eat and add the herbs to finish it off.
Not only will vegetable barley soup satisfy your hunger, but it also reheats well for lunch the next day.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEARTY SOUP RECIPES?
- Chickpea Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Potato Leek Soup
- Vegan Crockpot Split Pea Soup
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Crockpot Spicy Coconut Potato and Corn Soup
- Very Veggie and Bean Soup
- Vegan Minestrone Soup No Oil Rachel Ray Copy Cat
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Carrot Soup
- Crock-Pot Portobello Mushroom Stew
- Vegan Clam Chowder Oh My!
Vegetable Barley Soup
- ¾ cup sweet potatoes ½ large sweet potato, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper ½ large red pepper, diced
- ¾ cup butternut squash diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or Tamari
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large yellow onions diced (mild 1 cup)
- ½ cup zucchini diced
- ½ cup yellow summer squash diced
- ½ cup sweet potatoes diced
- 1 cup butternut squash diced
- ½ cup carrots diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 6 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked pearl barley
- 1 bay leaf
- Garnish optional
- ¼ cup fresh chopped dill
- 3 Tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 3 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- ROASTED VEGETABLES
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Chop sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and butternut squash and put in a large bowl
- Now, combine balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, dijon mustard, and rosemary.
- Whisk ingredients together and pour over the vegetables.
- Stir to combine.
- Pour the vegetables into a casserole dish, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
- COOKING THE BARLEY
- In a medium-sized pot, combine 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 bay leaf, and 1 cup pearl barley.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook for 45 minutes,
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Using a fork, mash roasted vegetables.
- Set aside.
- PREPARING THE SOUP
- Saute onions and garlic in a large soup pot until onions are translucent.
- Add raw, chopped vegetables.
- Stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Add 6 cups of vegetable broth.
- Add bay leaf, lemon juice, zest and salt, and pepper.
- Stir and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook for 30 minutes covered.
- Add mashed roasted vegetables.
- Stir to combine.
- Add cooked barley last.
- Stir to combine.
- Add herbs, and stir
- Serve hot
- Barley is NOT gluten-free, so if you suffer from gluten-intolerance, do not use barley.
- Cook barley separately to avoid overcooking
- Vegetable barley soup can be reheated
- Vegetable barley soup can be frozen but should be at room temperature before freezing.
- Thaw soup completely before reheating as well.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂