Veggie Barley Soup is a healthy and comforting vegan bowl that cooks up in one-pot!
Who doesn’t love a good soup in the winter (or fall)? I sure love soup because it’s easy to make and incorporates tons of healthy veggies. This old fashioned vegetable barley soup is plant-based and includes carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and barley, of course!
And here’s my favorite part–it’s made in one pot! That means minimal clean-up and easy preparation. I highly recommend cooking a huge batch and eating it for lunch all week long!
What is barley?
I had a bag of barley sitting in my cabinet, so I thought “Why not whip up a vegetarian soup with barley?” If you’re wondering about barley, let’s do a deep dive into this grain.
Barley on its own is a whole grain, meaning that it has all parts of the grain– the bran, germ and endosperm– intact. Whole grains have more fiber and protein than other types of grain.
Most barley that people buy in the supermarket is actually pearl barley. This type of barley has part of the bran removed to make for a quicker cooking time. That means pearl barley is not a whole grain.
While that sounds not-so-great, pearl barley is still a highly nutritious grain. A 1/4 cup dry has:
- 200 calories
- 0 grams fat
- 44 gram carbohydrates
- 6 grams fiber (21% daily value)
- 5 grams protein
- 10% daily value of iron
Those nutrition stats are impressive, meaning that barley should be a staple in your pantry!
Is this soup healthy?
As far as soups go, this is about as healthy as you can get! The base of this soup is vegan and loaded with plants. It’s made with a combination of celery, carrots, garlic, crushed tomatoes, spinach and vegetable broth.
Then you add in barley and you’ve got a delicious soup. Not only is it healthy, but it’s incredibly easy as well!
How to make one-pot Veggie Barley Soup
Cooking this vegan soup is so simple. Here are the steps:
1.Heat oil in a soup pot and add carrots, celery, garlic and broccoli. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.
2. Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, chopped spinach, salt and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the pearled barley to the pot and simmer for additional 10-12 minutes or until the barley is tender.
That’s it! After 20 minutes, the soup is cooked! You now have a big batch of plant-based goodness to eat for lunch or dinner all week.
Does it freeze well?
Believe it or not, this soup freezes really well. The barley retains its moisture when frozen, so it still tastes good after reheating. The vegetables are already soft, so there’s no need to worry about mushy veggies.
To freeze the soup, pour it in an air tight container (or a freezer bag) and let it cool to room temperature. You never want to put a hot soup in the freezer or it will warm everything else in the freezer.
If it’s in an airtight container, you can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, take it out of the freezer and defrost it in fridge for the day.
If you don’t plan ahead and forget to defrost, you can put the container in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it’s slightly defrosted. Then pour the contents into a soup pot and heat.
What to serve with soup
Personally, I eat this soup for lunch with some crackers. But if you want to serve this for dinner and need to pair it with another food, try these options:
- Vegan Tofu Nuggets
- Frisée Salad with Apples & Goat Cheese and Maple Vinaigrette
- Kale Winter Salad
- Everything Crackers
- Pumpkin Cauliflower Rice Risotto
Veggie Barley Soup
One-pot vegan barley soup. Loaded with vegetables!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 head broccoli chopped
- 2 cups crushed tomato canned
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cup spinach chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 cup pearled barley
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Next, add carrots, celery, garlic and broccoli. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, spinach, salt, thyme and rosemary to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the barley to the pot and continue to simmer for 10-12 minute or until barley is tender.