Hearty and Healthy Vegan Barley Soup Recipe

Welcome to this delicious vegan barley soup recipe! As Simon Sinek said, “Start with why.” So, let me tell you the reasons why you’re going to love this recipe.

Firstly, it is perfect for any season. You can enjoy it on a cold winter day or savor it as a light and healthy meal during the summer months.

Secondly, it’s an ideal recipe for anyone who is looking for a satisfying and filling vegan meal. It will keep you full and energized because of the blend of nutritious ingredients like barley, parsnip, carrot, onion, and kale.

Thirdly, it is incredibly versatile. You can add your favorite vegetables and spices to make it your own unique creation while still staying true to its hearty base.

Lastly, there are so many health benefits of eating this soup regularly. The combination of vegetables, barley, and fresh spices makes it an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber that will help boost your immune system and support optimal gut health.

In conclusion, this vegan barley soup recipe is easy to make, delicious and packed with nutrients that will satisfy all your cravings while keeping you healthy. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Barley Soup
Vegan Barley Soup

Friends, let me tell you why you’ll fall in love with this Vegan Barley Soup.

First and foremost, this soup is jam-packed with nutrients that are essential for your body to function healthily. From Carrots, parsnips, kale, and mushrooms to barley, this recipe is not only delicious but also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Your body will thank you for taking care of it with such nourishing foods.

Moreover, the recipe is incredibly easy and budget-friendly. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy ingredients or complicated cooking techniques to whip up a tasty and wholesome meal for your family or friends. You can get all the ingredients from your local grocery store or farmer’s market and prepare them effortlessly in a large pot on your stovetop. Within no time you’ll be savoring the most comforting soup ever.

Plus, vegan barley soup is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences. Whether you like it mild or spicy, chunky or smooth, there’s always room for variation in this recipe. You can experiment with different vegetable combinations or adjust the level of seasoning as per your liking.

Lastly, this soup pairs well with almost every side dish that you can think of- toasties, salads, garlic bread or crackers -the list is endless! So next time you make this Vegan Barley Soup, keep some extra servings aside and enjoy it throughout the week by pairing it up with different sides.

Trust me friends; once you try this recipe- it’ll become a household favorite- one that everyone will love and cherish for years to come. So go ahead and give it a try; You’ll thank me later!

Ingredient List

 A hot bowl of Vegan Barley Soup is the perfect meal to cozy up with on a chilly day.
A hot bowl of Vegan Barley Soup is the perfect meal to cozy up with on a chilly day.

When it comes to creating any dish, having the right ingredients is key. For this Vegan Barley Soup Recipe, you’ll need a combination of fresh veggies, spices, and grains that will make each spoonful warming and comforting. Here’s a look at everything you’ll need for this delicious recipe:


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 3 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped


  • 3/4 cup pearled barley (130 grams)


  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14 oz/400g)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Having these ingredients on hand will ensure that you’re able to make the perfect pot of vegan barley soup every time.

The Recipe How-To

 The combination of barley, vegetables, and warm spices make for a soup that is both hearty and comforting.
The combination of barley, vegetables, and warm spices make for a soup that is both hearty and comforting.

Let’s get cooking! This easy-to-follow vegan barley soup recipe is perfect for satisfying your comfort food cravings on a cold day. I promise you’ll enjoy making this one-pot meal just as much as you’ll enjoy eating it.

Step 1: Soak the Barley

Rinse pearled barley under cold running water and add it to a large bowl. Cover the barley with about two inches of water and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Afterward, drain the water and set the barley aside.

Tip: Soaking barley reduces cooking time, breaks down phytic acid, which improves nutrient absorption, and helps make the grains more digestible.

Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic cloves, diced carrots, and diced celery stalks. Stir frequently until the vegetables are slightly softened.

Step 3: Add the Mushrooms

Next, add sliced baby bella mushrooms and cook until they are tender and juicy.

Step 4: Add Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, and Spices

Stir in a can of diced tomatoes with juice, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 3-4 cloves of minced garlic, and fresh ground pepper. Mix well to combine all ingredients.

Variation: For those who prefer less tomato flavor, you may substitute some of the diced tomatoes for vegetable broth or water (~1/2 -1 cup)

Step 5: Add Potatoes and Parsnips

Add peeled and diced yellow potatoes (about 1 medium-sized potato) and peeled and diced parsnip (about 1/2 parsnip). Continue to simmer until potatoes are slightly cooked (~10 minutes).

Step 6: Bring to a Boil

Pour in about 6 cups of vegetable broth or water. Bring everything to a boil over high heat.

Step 7: Simmer

When the soup comes to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for approximately an hour or until barley is cooked through.

Step8: Garnish with Kale

Before removing from heat source stir in chopped kale (~3 cups). The residual heat should cook it perfectly.

And that’s it! Your hearty vegan barley soup is ready to be served.

Note: Be sure to store any leftover soup in an air-tight container in the fridge where it can last up to five days or stored in freezer bag(s) for three-months max. Never forget to label your leftovers so you don’t have any surprises later on when you next crave some soup!

Substitutions and Variations

 This soup is not only delicious, but also vegan and gluten-free, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
This soup is not only delicious, but also vegan and gluten-free, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions.

You don’t have to strictly follow the ingredients list to enjoy a delicious bowl of vegan barley soup. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Vegetables: While this recipe calls for carrots, parsnips, and kale, feel free to substitute with other root vegetables such as turnips, rutabagas, or sweet potatoes. You can also add other greens like spinach or chard.

– Grain: Barley is the star of this soup, but you can swap it out with other grains such as rice or quinoa. Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the grain you choose.

– Broth: If you don’t have vegetable broth on hand, you can use water instead. Just keep in mind that it might not be as flavorful. You can also try using mushroom or miso broth for a more complex taste.

– Tomato: The canned tomatoes in this recipe adds acidity and sweetness to the dish. But if you don’t have any tomatoes with juice, you can use tomato sauce or even fresh tomatoes chopped up into small pieces.

– Spices: Feel free to add your favorite spices to this soup. Try adding cumin, paprika, or thyme for an extra flavor kick.

– Protein: To make this soup more filling, try adding some protein sources like white beans, chickpeas, or shredded tofu.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and putting your own spin on recipes. Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors and ingredients to create your new favorite version of vegan barley soup.

Serving and Pairing

 The color of the soup is so vibrant, it's almost too pretty to eat (almost!).
The color of the soup is so vibrant, it’s almost too pretty to eat (almost!).

Now that the Vegan Barley Soup is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy! This wholesome soup features a hearty blend of vegetables and whole grains that make it a complete meal on its own. However, you can take it up a notch by serving it with some crusty bread or a side salad.

The beauty of this soup is that it can pair well with a variety of other dishes. For instance, you can serve it as an accompaniment to grilled cheese or tofu sandwich. Alternatively, you can pair it with roasted vegetables or a light protein such as sautéed shrimp.

For those who like spicing things up, adding some fresh chili flakes or hot sauce to the soup can add some much-needed heat and an extra layer of flavor.

When it comes to beverages, the Vegan Barley Soup pairs perfectly with a warm cup of herbal tea or fresh squeezed juice. However, if you’re looking for something with more punch, you can always serve this soup with red wine or craft beer.

Regardless of how you choose to serve and pair the Vegan Barley Soup, one thing is for sure; your taste buds will be thanking you for treating them to such a delicious meal.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The barley adds a nice texture to the soup, making it filling and satisfying.
The barley adds a nice texture to the soup, making it filling and satisfying.

As a vegan chef, I understand that having leftovers can be both a blessing and a challenge. That’s why I’m excited to share my tips for making this Vegan Barley Soup ahead of time, storing it properly, and reheating it to enjoy later.

If you plan ahead, making this soup one day ahead can deepen its flavors and make the vegetables tender yet still retain their texture. In fact, this soup tastes even better the next day! To do so, follow the steps and instructions in the recipe section until step 6. You can pour the soup into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

When it’s time to reheat your soup, you can do so gently over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Make sure to stir occasionally and add a splash of vegetable broth or water if needed to thin out the soup for desired consistency.

Whether you cooked too much or you purposefully made a large batch of this hearty soup, freezing leftovers is a great way to extend its shelf life. In fact, this barley soup freezes incredibly well! When stored correctly in an airtight container, it will last for up to three months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen soup, simply let it defrost overnight in the fridge. Once thawed completely, warm your soup on low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need to add extra liquid (e.g., water or vegetable broth) if it’s become too thick as it cooled down.

So whether planning for leftovers or purposely cooking extra to enjoy later, these make-ahead tips will allow you to store and appreciate this hearty vegan barley soup at any time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top adds an extra touch of flavor and color to the dish
A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top adds an extra touch of flavor and color to the dish

Cooking soup is all about the balance of flavors and textures, and with this Vegan Barley Soup Recipe, you want to make sure you get it right. Here are a few tips to help you achieve perfect results every time.

First, make sure to soak the barley before adding it to the soup. This will help soften the grains and speed up cooking time. Soak the barley in water for at least an hour before adding it to the soup.

Second, don’t skimp on the vegetables. The carrots, parsnips, and celery add flavor depth while the kale adds a subtle bitterness that balances the sweetness of root vegetables. Be generous with your vegetable portions.

Third, don’t overlook the importance of fresh ground pepper. It brings a depth of flavor that pre-ground pepper simply can’t match. Grind fresh pepper into your soup just before serving to bring out all of its unique notes.

Fourth, use high-quality canned tomatoes with juice. They’ll give your soup that bright tomato-y taste without overpowering it.

Fifth, if you’re looking for a more savory taste, try adding some mushroom or beef broth to the mix. Just make sure that these secondary flavors do not overpower your star ingredient – barley!

Sixth, consider creating variations with other vegetables such as butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Replacing a single vegetable can change the character of the dish without making it difficult or complicated.

Lastly, remember that soups are always better after they’ve had some time to sit and mingle flavors together. Prepare ahead of time when possible and serve as hot as possible.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have no trouble making an irresistible vegan barley soup that everyone will like!


Now that you have all the necessary information to prepare a delicious bowl of vegan barley soup, you might still have some questions in mind. I have gathered the most frequently asked questions about this recipe and broke down the answers for you. Keep reading to ensure a perfect cooking experience with this brilliant vegan barley soup recipe.

Is barley soup good for you?

Barley soup is undoubtedly a healthy food option due to its nutritional value as a whole grain. It is a low-cost and adaptable ingredient, packed with fiber, folates, and essential minerals such as selenium, which can promote heart health. Additionally, the fiber content in barley soup can help you feel satiated for an extended period, which may assist in managing body weight.

Do you have to cook barley before putting it in soup?

If you’re adding barley to a soup, there’s no need to cook it beforehand. When simmering beef barley soup, the barley will cook thoroughly during that time without the need for an extra step. It typically takes around 30 minutes for the barley to fully cook in the soup.

Should I soak barley before adding to soup?

If you’re wondering if it’s necessary to soak barley before cooking, it depends on the type of barley you’re using. Pearl barley does not require soaking as it cooks rapidly, whereas hulled barley could benefit from this preparation. Soaking the hulled grain in water for a couple of hours before cooking helps to shorten the cooking time. Nevertheless, even with soaking, hulled barley still takes around 35-40 minutes to cook thoroughly.

Is Costco vegetable barley soup vegan?

This soup is made with certified organic ingredients, and is suitable for those following a vegetarian or dairy-free diet. You can find it at Costco, where two 32 oz containers are sold for $8.49, providing enough soup for 8 servings of 1 cup each.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my fellow foodies. A hearty and nutritious vegan barley soup recipe that will surely impress anyone who takes a sip. As someone who has tasted countless soups in my lifetime, I can assure you that this recipe is a true winner.

By using wholesome ingredients like barley, vegetables, and fresh herbs, this soup offers not only flavor but also a ton of health benefits. Plus, the fact that it’s vegan means that everyone at your next dinner party can enjoy it– regardless of dietary restrictions.

So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out in the comments below. Whether you’re cooking for one or catering to a crowd, this vegan barley soup will not disappoint.

And don’t be afraid to get creative with your own variations and substitutions. After all, cooking is all about experimenting and having fun in the kitchen. Who knows? Your own unique twist on this recipe may become the next big thing in the culinary world.

So grab your apron, chop those veggies, and get ready to create a bowl of deliciousness that will warm your soul from the inside out. Happy cooking!

Vegan Barley Soup

Vegan Barley Soup Recipe

Thick, rich and flavorful! You won't miss the beef at all!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cuisine Vegan
Calories 128.9 kcal


  • 6 tablespoons fine barley, uncooked
  • 6 cups vegan vegetable stock
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium parsnip, scraped and cut into rounds
  • 1 large yellow potato, chopped
  • 1 (32 ounce) can of organic tomatoes with juice (crushed or diced)
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 head mustard greens (or cress, whatever) or 1 head kale, roughly chopped (or cress, whatever)
  • 4 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos


  • Rinse barley breifly in a fine mesh strainer and throw the barley in a pot. Cover it with 3 to 4 cups of water and boil.
  • Meanwhile, wash and cut veggies.
  • When barley has finished, drain it in the mesh strainer, but do not rinse it.
  • Add veggies to the pot along with vegetable stock and garlic. Boil until veggies are begining to get tender (30 - 40 minutes).
  • Add tomatoes, barley, ground pepper and greens and bring to a boil.
  • When greens have wilted, removed from heat. Just before eating, stir in Bragg's liquid aminos.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 265gCalories: 128.9kcalCarbohydrates: 28.8gProtein: 4.3gFat: 0.6gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 237.4mgFiber: 5.8gSugar: 6.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Vegan, Vegetable
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