Vegan Tomato and Barley Vegetable Soup

Barley tomato soup with vegetables
Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
125 Calories
4g Fat
21g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 125
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 701mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 18mg 90%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 417mg 9%
*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.

You can buy barley in bulk, making it extra-environmentally friendly. It has got that uniquely chewy texture, it's cheap, filling, homey, and comforting. What's not to love about barley? 

This vegetable barley soup is both vegetarian and vegan as is, though (if you're not eating dairy free or 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 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped small

  • 1/2 onion, chopped small

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 cup pearl barley

  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, optional

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. 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. 

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

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

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

  6. Once the barley is cooked, stir in the fresh spinach and heat for 1 more minute (just until barely wilted), then turn off heat. Season your soup generously with salt and pepper.

  7. Serve and enjoy!