Vegan Tomato and Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe

Barley tomato soup with vegetables
Barley tomato soup with vegetables. Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images
Ratings (29)
  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: about 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
265 Calories
5g Fat
49g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: about 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 265
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 713mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Protein 11g
Calcium 189mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're looking for a nourishing beef-free barley soup recipe, most recipes use mushrooms to pair with the barley, but this meatless tomato barley soup uses tomatoes and the standard soup ingredients of carrots, celery, onions and garlic to carry the flavor. There's little additional seasoning, so this homemade vegetarian tomato barley soup recipe is simple, easy, and nourishing.

If you've been following The Spruce for a while, you'll likely already know that barley is one of those random foods which I absolutely love and think is under appreciated as a foodstuff. I wouldn't quite use the term "barley aficionado", but you get the idea. You can buy it in bulk, making it extra-environmentally friendly. Its got that unique chewy texture which is unmatched but any other food that I know of. Its cheap and it's filling. Its homey and comforting. What's not to love about barley? 

This vegetable barley soup is both vegetarian and vegan, though if you're not eating dairy-free and vegan, you might like to top it off with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese just before serving for a nice presentation and extra flavor. Either way, enjoy!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (chopped small)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped small)
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Optional: 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • Dash pepper (or to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large soup or stock pan, heat onions and garlic for a minute or two, then add the chopped carrots and celery. Heat for 4 to 5 minutes, just to start the vegetables cooking a bit with a head start. 

  2. Add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), the vegetable broth, barley and the Italian seasoning, stirring well to combine.

  3. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a medium-low simmer.

  4. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until barley is cooked and carrots are soft. You may need to add a little bit extra water or vegetable broth.

  5. Once the barley is cooked, stir in the fresh spinach and heat for one more minute, just until barely wilted, then turn off heat. Season your soup generously with salt and pepper.