If soup isn’t exciting I don’t want it.
This Vegan Barley Soup is bursting with rich flavour and packed with texture. Hearty pearled barley has the best chew and it’s swimming around in a rich, super savoury broth with loads of chunky veggies. It’s all just so satisfying and then! Then… we top off each bowl with a rich and spicy chili garlic drizzle and a smattering or bright, fresh green onion. It is truly the best.
If you look through the soups on this website you’d be hard pressed to find a thin, watery type of soup because I just don’t like them all that much. I don’t much even like a puréed soup unless I can top it with a bunch of accessories like broken crackers or fried somethings.
I want my soup to eat like a meal. I want to use my teeth and not feel like I’m eating a bowl of water with things floating in it or like I’m eating a hot, savoury smoothie with a spoon. This vegetable barley soup hits all the right notes.
With me? You’re going to love this!
Scroll past the recipe if you’re looking for tips, substitutions, questions, etc. and details on how to make this recipe, but if you want to get straight to it, here’s my recipe-ish…
Vegan Barley Soup
For the soup:
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3-4 carrots diced
- 1 pepper any colour, diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Tbsp flour***
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cup pearled barley***
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup corn kernels frozen is fine
- 1/2 cup edamame frozen is fine
For the drizzle:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1/2 tsp salt
- green onion sliced
Make the soup:
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add in the onion.
- Cook for several minutes, until softened.
- Add in the carrots, pepper and garlic and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour, thyme, red pepper flakes and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
- Add in the vegetable broth and the soy sauce and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook 20-30 minutes until the barley is tender.
- Stir in the corn and the edamame. Season with S&P to taste.
Make the drizzle:
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add in the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Allow to sizzle for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat.
- Stir in the Sriracha and the salt.
- Serve the soup and garnish with the drizzle and the green onion.
There are different forms of barley but I prefer the pearled one. I don’t know if it’s the name, the fact that they look like little pearls when they’re cooked or the fact that they have the most awesome chew when you eat them… maybe it’s all of it. Anyway, I like them and that’s what I’m using here.
You can use this recipe as a canvas and throw in whatever veggies you like. I’m a fan of corn for a little sweetness and edamame for the great texture and the added hit of protein.
vegan barley soup Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:
Barley – pearled barley is what I use.
Broth – use either store bought or homemade. I’m a big fan of vegetable bouillon so that’s usually what I use to mix up some broth in a pinch.
Veggies – use whatever you like. Add in leeks, celery, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes or toss in some spinach or kale or bok choy towards the end of the cook time.
Soy Sauce – I often add a little soy sauce in when I cook vegan or vegetarian meals. It’s adds a little extra savoury quality that amps up the flavour.
Flour – I add a bit of flour to the soup to give the broth some body, but you can omit it.
Vegan Barley Soup Recipe Variations:
- Herbs & Greens Version – add a handful of fresh tender herbs and a handful of greens in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Vegan Barley Mushroom Soup Version – toss 1 lb of chopped cremini mushrooms with a little oilve oil and a drizzle of soy sauce and roast them for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Stir into the soup at the end.
vegan barley soup recipe, how to make it…
Heat some olive oil in a a soup pot and add in a diced onion. Let it cook until it softens and add in some carrots, peppers and garlic. Stir in some thyme, red pepper flakes, a good amount of salt and black pepper and a bit of flour. The flour is just to give the broth a little body, but you can leave it out.
Next you’ll pour in your broth, barley and a little soy sauce and bring it all to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about half an hour, until the barley is tender and then stir in some frozen corn & edamame.
To finish the soup we’re going to make a little drizzle to spoon on top by heating some oil with some pepper flakes and garlic. in only a couple of minutes it will get all aromatic and then you’ll stir in a little salt and hot sauce. Drizzle a little on your hot bowl of soup along with some bright, fresh green onions and dig in.
looking for more super delicious soup recipes? try these…
- Cauliflower Leek Potato Soup
- Dairy Free Gluten Free Tomato Soup
- Minestrone Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
- Vegetarian Rice Soup
Let me know what you think below!