Vegetarian Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe

Vegetarian bean and barley soup

The Spruce


  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 65 mins
  • Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
Ratings (68)

This vegetarian and vegan recipe for a hearty homemade barley and vegetable soup is both healthy and filling. A meal in itself, you can add just about any veggies you want - green beans, peas or corn would all work well. If you're used to a more traditional beef and barley soup, go ahead and try this lower-fat and cholesterol-free version of a vegetarian bean and barley soup - you definitely won't be disappointed at all!

This simple and healthy soup recipe makes a more than ​a generous amount, so plan on having some leftovers!

If you like cooking with healthy whole grain barley, particularly in soups, you may also want to try this basic vegetable barley soup recipe.

Looking for more simple, healthy and nourishing vegetarian and vegan recipes? You can browse through all the vegetarian recipes here, or all the vegan recipes here

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 large onion (diced)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp. of oil (or vegan margarine)
  • 2 ribs celery (diced)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots (diced)
  • Optional: any other vegetables desired, about 1/2 cup each
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth (you can also use half and half, or water with a vegetarian bouillon cube)
  • 1 cup pearled barley (uncooked)
  • 1 cup pinto beans (or white beans, cooked or canned)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt (optional but adds a nice flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano (or Italian spice mix)
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • Optional: 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Optional: salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. In a large soup or stock pot, sautee the onions and garlic in the oil or vegan margarine for a minute or two, then add the celery, carrots and any other vegetables you are using for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the vegetable broth or water and all the other remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once your soup is simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover your pot. 
  3. Allow your soup to simmer on the stove for at least thirty minutes and up to one hour, stirring occasionally, until the barley is soft and somewhat fluffy.
  1. Be sure to remove both of the bay leaves before serving your soup. Taste, and then add in more spices or a bit of optional salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 228
    Total Fat 3 g
    Saturated Fat 1 g
    Unsaturated Fat 1 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 962 mg
    Carbohydrates 41 g
    Dietary Fiber 9 g
    Protein 12 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)