Total Time
2hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs

Barley has been cultivated since the Stone Age and fermented to make beer soon after. Folk medicine has made use of barley water, made by simply soaking barley in water, as a tonic during convalescence. "Pearl" barley is the name of the grain when it's been polished, after the husk and bran have been removed. It's the form most commonly used in soups. This grain has one significant health advantage compared to most other cereal grains (oats and corn for example) it is very low on the glycemic index. Enjoy this old fashioned, hearty soup!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a saucepan, combine the barley and 3 cups of vegetable stock.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.
  4. Cover and cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  5. Add the remaining vegetable stock and simmer 30 minutes, covered.
  6. Add the barley and simmer 5 minutes more.
  7. Add salt to taste and ladle into bowls.
  8. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Most Helpful

What can I say but yummy, yummy, yummy! I made this for Zaar Chef Alphabet Soup tag game 2013 and for our lunch and what an easy and delicious soup. I did add kale (had some I needed to use), 1 potatoe diced, 2 small roma tomatoes chopped, 1/2 zucchini (needed to use that also) and some garlic and a bay leaf. You can add any thing you want and that's what is nice...especially when you need to clean out the fridge. Thank you for posting and I'm putting this in my Favorites of 2013.

mama smurf February 21, 2013

Delish! I am a huge lover of veggie soup AND of barley, so I knew I couldn't go wrong with this recipe! I took the advice of Annacia and just threw all the veggie and barley in the broth, brought it up to a boil then decreased to a simmer for about 1 hour. Cooked to perfection! I added some spinach and a few tomatoes which were great. Next time I will use just a little less barley, but that's my preference. THANKS Rita :)

JanuaryBride May 04, 2010

5 more stars from me. My only adaption was to skip cooking the veggies in the oil, I just added them to the barley pot. I don't think that the recipe suffered any for it. All of the good things cooked in the vegetable broth was perfect. I think a light touch of garlic might be nice but certainly not essential. There is no parsley in the house so it had to go without this time.

Annacia March 02, 2010

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