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Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegan Vegetable Barley Soup

This hearty vegan barley soup is LOADED with vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, corn, carrots, and green peas + perfectly cooked tender barley. This delicious recipe is easy to make, it's high-fiber, oil-free, and ready to eat in less than 1 hour!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 226kcal


  • Medium Pot
  • 6-Quart Dutch Oven


  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable broth to saute (or water)
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large celery stalks sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley peeled and diced
  • ½ tsp chili pepper flakes peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, peas, carrots, and green beans)
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz frozen spinach
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Cook the barley according to the package instructions, drain any excess water, and then set it aside for later.
  • In a large dutch oven, saute the diced onion and sliced celery in vegetable broth over medium heat until soft. Add the minced garlic, 1 ½ tbsp Italian seasonings, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp chili pepper flakes, bay leaf, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and let it cook for 2 minutes to toast the spices.
  • Add the potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables, diced tomatoes with juice, 4 cups vegetable broth, and 1 cup water to the pot. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover it and let it cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in the frozen spinach and lemon juice. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or until the spinach is fully defrosted and warmed through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • Add a scoop of the cooked barley to a bowl and then ladle the hot soup over the top and stir to incorporate the barley. Garnish with dried parsley before serving.


  • I recommend cooking the barley separately so it doesn't absorb all of the broth. If you'd rather cook it in the soup, make sure you add an additional 3 cups of water or broth for it to absorb while it cooks.  
  • Wait to add the frozen spinach until the last few minutes of cooking. You don't need to "cook" the spinach, we're just trying to defrost and warm it. I like to add it at the end of cooking so it keeps its bright green color.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or you can freeze it for a future meal.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 804mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8544IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4mg